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Home arrow Human Interest arrow Local arrow North scoops big tourism award
North scoops big tourism award PDF Print E-mail
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Human Interest - Local
Written by Lindy Laird, Northern Advocate   
Friday, 25 August 2006

Dive Tutukaka's sub-marine territory. - Picture/Dive Tutukaka, via The Northern Advocate

A Northland dive company has scooped the country's supreme tourism prize - a win that could help diving become to Northland what whale watching is to Kaikoura.

Dive Tutukaka was named the New Zealand Tourism Industry Association's Supreme Award winner in Wellington last night.

New Zealand's biggest dive charter operation, Dive Tutukaka was developed by entrepreneur and conservationist Jeroen Jongejans and business partner Aussie Malcolm six years ago.

Mr Jongejans said last night he was thrilled with the award, but he was equally pleased the exposure would help boost Northland's reputation as New Zealand's dive capital.

"Success depends on maintaining a sustainable environment and providing a quality product.

"Diving might look like a niche industry but there's room for growth among other dive operators and all Northland tourism as long as those standards are applied."

Dive Tutukaka had been a finalist in the tourism awards four times in the past, and has won other industry awards.

Success depends on maintaining a sustainable environment...

Although it had not won the big prize before, sitting alongside the tourism sector's biggest and best had been reward enough, Mr Jongejans said. "We always box above our weight," he said.

Prime Minister Helen Clark was one of the first to heap praise on the company. "Dive Tutukaka is a well-deserving Supreme Award winner. It offers a range of adventure tourism experiences for visitors and has a strong focus on conservation. This is the type of tourist operator we'll need in the future."

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