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PATA Young Tourism Professional Award Finalists

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The finalists have been announced in the 2009 PATA Young Tourism Professional Award - four individuals who are rising stars in an industry that is a bedrock of the New Zealand economy.

The finalists are:

* Clare Davies, Managing Director and co-owner of the Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco Resort, Nelson.

* Mark Gilbert, Managing Director, Hassle-free Tours, Christchurch

* Mike Grogan, Director and owner of Cathedral Cove Kayaks Ltd, Hahei Beach, Coromandel.

Bryan McChlery, tourism owner and operator who manages Te Anau Top 10 Holiday Park, Driftaway Rental Campervans and Go Milford.

The PATA Young Tourism Professional Award is managed by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand * and recognises aspiring young individuals (under the age of 35) who are paving the way in the tourism sector.

TIA Chief Executive Tim Cossar says this year's Award attracted a high number of excellent nominations, which bodes well for the future of this valuable industry, especially in the current challenging trading conditions.

Neil Plimmer, PATA NZ Trust Chairman says the finalists are outstanding contributors to the industry and have huge potential to achieve much more.

"These finalists are amongst New Zealand's most talented young professionals, for their leadership, their aptitude and their passion for tourism. The range of their activities underlines the great diversity and depth of our industry."

The winner of the PATA Young Tourism Professional Award will be announced at an event in Wellington on 6 October 2009. The winner will receive a grant of $2500 to advance their professional development. The winner and runners up will also be awarded free access to an ATTTO management course.

* This Award is managed by the Tourism Industry Association on behalf of the Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust.

The finalists: (photos attached)

Clare Davies

Managing Director and co-owner of the Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco Resort, Nelson,

Clare has had an outstanding career in accommodation, restaurant and event management that has earned her the respect of industry leaders and won her national awards for both accommodation and restaurant performance. Clare has had major business achievements associated with the expansion and upgrading of the Grand Mecure Nelson Monaco Resort. She is also recognised for her contribution to local and regional tourism activities.

Mark Gilbert

Managing Director, Hassle-free Tours,

Mark started Hassle-free Tours with his wife in 2003 after returning to New Zealand from overseas. The business has grown strongly, with fleet numbers increasing to seven and satisfied clients numbering around 20,000. Mark has built strong relationships throughout the industry and with suppliers. This, together with a strong commitment to quality, has helped Hassle-free Tours increase passenger numbers even during the recession.

Mike Grogan

Director and owner of Cathedral Cove Kayaks Ltd, Hahei Beach, Coromandel,

Mike has turned his love for the great outdoors and passion for coastal New Zealand into a successful career. Since joining Cathedral Cove Kayaks in 2001, Mike has expanded the business, achieving high levels of professionalism and client satisfaction. Mike demonstrates a commitment to environmentally sensitive tourism, and is an active participant in local business and community affairs.

Bryan McChlery,

Tourism business owner and manager,

The entrepreneurial Bryan McChlery is a highly respected businessman who has developed and manages three quality tourism businesses in Fiordland, with plans to open a fourth this year. Under his management Te Anau's Top 10 Holiday Park has expanded significantly and developed new and related tourism activities. These include the Top 10 Milford Sound Coach and Cruise business (rebranded Go Milford) and Driftaway Rental Campervans.

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