Ryan Sanders and the Haka Tours team at the awards Ryan Sanders and the Haka Tours team at the awards

All hail Haka – supreme winner

The brainchild of Ryan Sanders and a business that has achieved exceptional growth over the past 10 years, Haka Tourism Group has won the tourism industry’s highest accolade, the Air New Zealand Supreme Tourism Award.

The Awards Programme is owned and organised by Tourism Industry Aotearoa with the awards night put on with the assistance of partners Air New Zealand and the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment. The winners were announced at a black-tie dinner in Christchurch last week attended by more than 350 industry leaders and supporters. In just over 10 years, Haka Tourism Group has expanded to include small group, adventure, snow and mountain bike tours, upmarket hostels, a specialist educational brand and high-end snow tours. This year it is opening its first two hotels to support the tourism industry’s strong visitor growth. (See TravelincMemo Tuesday 22 August). Driven by cutting edge digital marketing and brand positioning, the business is growing at an average of 80% year on year, with revenues for the next 12 months on track to exceed $17 million. As part of their Supreme Award prize, Haka Tourism Group receives international air travel to any Air New Zealand destination valued at $10,000 (+GST) to help them grow their tourism business. Haka Tourism Group also won the JLT & AIG Business Excellence Award – more than $6 million annual turnover, and the epay NZ Tourism Marketing Award. Founder and sole shareholder Ryan Sanders was recognised for his visionary and influential leadership, winning the Auckland Airport Tourism Industry Champion Award. Tourism’s most prestigious individual award, the Crowe Horwath International Sir Jack Newman Award, went to the late Earl Hagaman for his outstanding contribution to the industry. Hagaman co-founded Scenic Circle Hotels in the 1980s. The business rebranded as Scenic Hotel Group in 2009. At the time of Hagaman’s death in May this year, he’d built a portfolio of 18 accommodation properties worth around $200 million. The New Zealand Tourism Award 2017 winners: • Air New Zealand Supreme Tourism Award • JLT & AIG Business Excellence Award – more than $6 million annual turnover • epay NZ Tourism Marketing Award: Haka Tourism Group • Auckland Airport Tourism Industry Champion Award: Ryan Sanders – Haka Tourism Group • Crowe Horwath International Sir Jack Newman Award (outstanding industry leader): Earl Hagaman • PATA New Zealand Trust Emerging Tourism Leader Award: Shayne Forrest – Hobbiton Movie Set • Sudima Hotels & Resorts Tourism All hail Haka – supreme winner 2025 Enabler Award: Queenstown Resort College • Westpac Business Excellence Award – less than $6 million annual turnover: Auckland Seaplanes • Department of Conservation Environmental Tourism Award: Sudima Hotels & Resorts • Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment Industry Alignment Award: Tourism West Coast • He kai kei aku ringa Māori Tourism Award: Kapiti Island Nature Tours • ServiceIQ Visitor Experience Award: Waitangi Treaty Grounds • NZME People’s Choice Award: Real Journeys

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