Outstanding contributions to hotel sector recognised   1 Jun 2012

Three leading New Zealand hotel executives have been honoured and the environmental efforts of a new Auckland hotel have been recognised at the New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards.

The Awards were presented at the New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference dinner in Auckland last night, co-hosted by Horwath HTL and Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA).

Dynasty Hotel Group Managing Director Jeffrey Tang received the Hotel Industry Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to New Zealand’s hotel industry. Mr Tang established the Heritage Hotel, CityLife Hotel and Heritage Boutique Collection brands in New Zealand.

Mr Tang’s experience in the hotel industry began with the iconic five star Dynasty Hotel in Singapore. On a visit to New Zealand in the early 1990s, Mr Tang and his brother Keith fell in love with the country and saw an opportunity to develop a new collection of suite style hotels across the country.

From 1995 to today, Mr Tang has developed an impressive collection of 15 unique properties in New Zealand from the award winning Heritage Queenstown to the newest by invitation only Heritage Boutique Collection.

“In less than two decades Jeffrey Tang has established a respected group of New Zealand hotels, built strong brands and been a constant innovator. He also provides employment for more than 500 people and is committed to numerous local children’s charities and community projects, making him a very worthy recipient of this award,” says Awards judging panel member and co-host, Stephen Hamilton, Director of Horwath HTL.

Senior Hotel Executive of the Year 2012
Jeffrey van Vorsselen, Managing Director of The Langham Hotel Auckland, was named Senior Hotel Executive of the Year.

Mr van Vorsselen has over 20 years experience in the hotel industry and has held hotel management roles all over the world, including Australia, the UK, Africa and Asia. A New Zealander, he returned home in 2008 to run The Langham Hotel Auckland.

Since then, the hotel has undergone a transformation, including the opening of the elegant Great Room in 2010, the opening of the renowned Eight restaurant in 2011 and the new Chuan Spa.

Under Mr van Vorsselen’s leadership, The Langham Hotel Auckland has consistently achieved outstanding financial results and excellent guest feedback, as well as demonstrating a commitment to environmental sustainability.

He was Auckland Chairman of the New Zealand Hotel Council for two years, guiding the region’s hotels through the Rugby World Cup 2011 period.

“Jeffrey always puts excellent customer service at the top of his priorities and is passionate about staff development. He has an impressive track record and has shown true leadership in the hotel industry,” Mr Hamilton says.

Outstanding Young Hotel Executive 2012
Ben Schmidt, Director of Rooms for the InterContinental Wellington, was awarded the Outstanding Young Hotel Executive 2012 title.

Mr Schmidt began his career with the InterContinental Wellington in 2002, working part-time while completing a double degree in law and accounting at Victoria University. After working briefly in a corporate environment, he realised his true passion lay in hospitality and he returned to the InterContinental Wellington where he was rapidly promoted to Director of Rooms, overseeing the largest departments in the hotel.

“Ben has shown he has a lot of potential to offer the hotel sector. The judges are confident that he has an exciting and rewarding career ahead of him,” Mr Hamilton says.

Environmental Initiative Award 2012
Novotel Auckland Airport, which opened in May 2011, won the Environmental Initiative Award 2012 for its commitment to environmental principles.

“The judges were looking for a hotel that showed innovation in its environmental programmes and had the potential to influence the way the hotel industry operates in future,” Mr Hamilton says.

The hotel stands at the gateway to New Zealand for many travellers, and sustainable design was a core value and was integral to the build of Novotel Auckland Airport.

From sustainably managed New Zealand indigenous timbers to low energy fittings, the environmental stewardship and the integrity of the design is evident throughout the hotel. Materials and finishes were selected not only for their durability and beauty but also for their low environmental impact. Considerable thought was put into the native flora and fauna in and around the hotel, which also demonstrates commitment to water conservation, energy conservation and waste minimisation.

About the New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference and Awards 2012

The 6th Annual New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference took place at the Pullman Auckland on 31 May 2012. With over 25 international and local speakers and panellists, the New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference 2012 covered the major issues influencing the New Zealand hotel industry.

The Conference is also a valuable opportunity for networking and professional development for the 300 delegates including hotel managers, owners, developers, bankers, lawyers, real estate firms and other industry stakeholders.

Co-hosts Horwath HTL and Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) acknowledge the commitment of Platinum Sponsor Accor to this key hotel industry event.

About New Zealand hotels

The hotel sector is a significant contributor to tourism in New Zealand, with TIA’s hotel sector representing the interests of over 130 members throughout New Zealand, including international chain, large independent and privately owned hotels. TIA hotel sector members employ 11,000 staff nationally, with annual revenues of more than $866 million.

(Tourism Industry Association New Zealand)

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