Winners of inaugural $200k tourism HOT marketing competition announced

01 October 2013

Auckland Airport has named three New Zealand tourism operators as the winners of its new $200,000 “High Opportunity Target” (HOT) markets marketing competition.

Sachie’s Kitchen, which provide state-of-the-art authentic Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and Indian cooking classes, was the overall winner, with Xtreme Destinations Ltd and The Rock Adventure Cruise following in joint second place.

Organised by Auckland Airport, the competition provides a fund of $200,000 worth of marketing support and business development assistance to be divided between the three winners.

Nick Siu, Business Manager at Sachie’s Kitchen, says that as a company that is passionate about culinary tourism, entering the “HOT” competition was an easy decision.

“We were very excited when we learnt about the marketing fund Auckland Airport was offering. We want to expand our business in the culinary tourism area, particularly with the creation of ‘fusion’ classes that are designed for the Asian palate, and showcase the very best local produce and beverage that New Zealand creates,” says Mr Sui.

“We have an emphasis on achieving this through social media and digital marketing channels. Auckland Airport is a mover and shaker in the digital marketing space so having access to their skills and knowledge is going to be of huge benefit to us.”

As part of Auckland Airport’s Ambition 2020 programme to increase New Zealand’s share from high growth markets, the “HOT” marketing competition was established to help innovative operators develop tourism initiatives, with a focus on emerging Asian “HOT” markets such as China, India and Indonesia.

Glenn Wedlock, Auckland Airport’s general manager aeronautical commercial, says Ambition 2020 has been extremely successful to date and represents the airport’s dedication to investing in key markets and increasing tourism in New Zealand.

“We are committed to working with tourism operators to increase visitor arrivals to New Zealand, developing product to meet demand and achieving greater value from our visitors,” says Mr Wedlock.

“This funding will help foster innovation and development within the sector to ensure we continue to grow in new emerging Asian ‘HOT’ markets, for the benefit of our trade and tourism sector and ultimately the New Zealand economy.”

Oneil Varghese, Director of Xtreme Destinations Ltd, believes that working with Auckland Airport will be particularly helpful in developing their business and marketing strategy.

“This competition was a perfect fit for us. Auckland Airport is at the forefront when it comes to attracting tourists from emerging markets, which is a key focus for our business as well. To be able to tap into their expertise will no doubt provide some very exciting opportunities for us.”

Sarah Greener from The Rock Adventure Cruise says the knowledge and expertise the prize provides will be invaluable.

“As a small business we don’t have the budget or knowledge to fully capitalise on all the opportunities that are out there. The support we will receive from Auckland Airport will provide us with a greater understanding of what we can achieve with our products. This is fantastic because it will really help us to attract more tourists from ‘HOT’ markets!”

The competition was judged by Auckland Airport’s aeronautical commercial team, which looked for companies that had viable marketing strategies, strong forward planning, demonstrated innovation and an understanding of the target market, and either took a multi-channel approach or in-depth thinking in one channel.

The competition is only one of a host of initiatives that Auckland Airport has implemented over the past year as part of its Ambition 2020 strategy. For more information on Auckland Airport’s Ambition 2020 plan please visit


For further information, please contact:

Kate Thompson
+64 21 385 446