New Zealand’s hotel sector is gearing up for a big July, with the annual New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference on 4-5 July, culminating with a gala awards dinner at the conference venue – the Cordis Auckland hotel.

Entries for the prestigious New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards 2018 are now open.  “There are 12 awards, recognising the many key roles that are vital to operating a successful hotel. This year we are delighted to announce a new award – Regional Employee of the Year, which will be awarded to the best operational employee working in a hotel not located in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington or Queenstown,” says Horwath HTL Director Stephen Hamilton.

The conference, the largest and most important annual event dedicated to New Zealand’s hotel sector, has been sold out for two of the past three years and co-hosts Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Horwath HTL Ltd expect demand to be high again this year.

“We have an exciting programme that will discuss and debate the big issues affecting this sector currently, including crisis management, convention centres, blockchain, and our social licence to operate,” says TIA Hotel Sector Manager Sally Attfield.

Now in its 12th year, the highly respected and successful conference is attended by managers and stakeholders in the New Zealand hotel sector. Last year’s conference attracted over 350 delegates, including hotel managers, investors, developers, hotel chains, government agencies, hotel industry consultants, sponsors and exhibitors.

Hemal Ghetla, winner of the 2017 Front Office Services Employee of the Year Award and now Rooms Division Manager at the Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua, says winning last year was a “proud and surreal” moment.

“Being nominated as one of the finalists was a big win on its own! Going on to win the category was a life changing event and there has been no looking back. This recognition from TIA and Horwath has hugely impacted my career as I look to pursue my dream role with Sudima Hotels & Resorts and moreover within New Zealand’s hotel industry!”

2017 Food and Beverage Employee of the Year Bhavna Abhilasha agrees that the award has been transformational for her career.

“Winning has given me a lot of recognition not only within my hotel but outside of the hotel as well. It really boosted my motivation and made me more confident in my career,” says Ms Abhilasha, now Senior Food and Beverage Supervisor at the Sudima Hotel Auckland Airport.

Heide Holtz, Restaurant and Bar Manager at Novotel Queenstown Lakeside and winner of Housekeeper Employee of the Year in 2017, says that winning has helped make her a better leader.

“I have pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and taken on new challenges within the industry, encouraging others to do the same.” For more information go to

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