The couple has just won the Top Service Award at the recent annual group awards, for the second consecutive year. The Waitomo park has a string of accolades to its credit, including the Supreme Award in 2011, since Julie and Bruce took over the park 18 years ago.
“Service is the main focus of our business. Our team work really hard to make sure our guests always feel welcome. The experience starts even before they get here because we send a text to each of our guests a day ahead of their scheduled arrival, telling them what the weather is like and that we’re looking forward to meeting them.”
Waitomo is a medium sized park, with 35 powered sites and 18 accommodation rooms.
“We might be smaller than some parks, but we’re very busy. We have a high turnover of guests – they’re usually here for one or two nights seeing the Waitomo Caves and adventure tourism activities,” Julie says. “It’s very labour intensive.”
In the winter, about 80% of visitors are international while in the peak summer months 40% are domestic.
Life at the park is a far cry from the couple’s former respective jobs; Julie was a kindergarten teacher and Bruce a bank manager. Tired of regularly shifting towns for Bruce’s work, they bought the Waitomo TOP 10 Holiday Park and have steadily rebuilt it. They’ve just replaced the last of the old cabins and are now building a communal SKY TV room and a reading room.
David Ovendale, TOP 10 Holiday Park chief executive says the TOP 10 awards aim to recognise and celebrate the hard work and excellence achieved by the holiday parks that consistently excel at what they do.
The awards celebrate the excellence and achievements of the 47 franchisees throughout the New Zealand. The Supreme Award in turn recognises the top overall holiday park in the TOP 10 Group.
The Supreme Award was won by Northlands Kauri Coast, followed by Rotorua.
Ovendale said New Zealand Holiday Parks currently generate 6.7 million guest nights annually, representing 19% of all commercial guest nights in the past year. Yes
Domestic visitors make up 68% of patronage with the international marketing delivering 32% of guest nights.
“As New Zealand’s premier holiday park group, TOP 10 have greater appeal to the international market with 49% of our guest nights attributable to international visitors.
“To support this, the TOP 10 Group has just launched an international, multi-day, “voucher style” passport specifically targeting overseas customers before they leave their country of origin.”
While staying at New Zealand Holiday Parks, visitors contribute, in terms of direct expenditure, just under $1 billion annually to the New Zealand economy.