PRESS RELEASE: Thames Coromandel District Council
Grant and Sheree Webster and their team at the family-owned and operated Top 10 Holiday Park at Hot Water Beach have been recognised for their major contribution to tourism and hospitality on the Coromandel winning the tourism and hospitality section at the recent Hauraki Coromandel Business Award.
A visit to New Zealand is not complete without soaking in a hot pool you have created with your own hands at the world renowned Hot Water Beach, which is also one of the top 10 beaches in the world by Lonely Planet Travel Guide, and located just 700 metres from the Webster’s Top 10 Holiday Park and campground, which has a wide range of choices to satisfy the needs of all travellers.
The panel of Hauraki Coromandel Business Award judges were impressed with the way Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park demonstrated an understanding of each market segment, their approach to maintain relevance with different markets, and their approach to working with the market to fully understand individual needs.
“We were also impressed by the way they have established an excellent relationship with their community and suppliers and are proactively seeking to work with other operators in their area, and beyond, to grow the overall visitor market to the Coromandel,” says one of the judges, Peter Davey, Business Growth Advisor from the Waikato Innovation Park.
“They are very professional in their approach but still manage to present a ‘kiwi style’ relaxed atmosphere to their visitors and we found them to be analytically busy with their business, looking from outside in, and hands on with demonstrated passion,” says Mr Davey.
Grant and Sheree have lived in Hot Water Beach for most of their adult life. “We started off dairy farming and noticed all the campervans and people coming into the area,” says Sheree. “The original campground was subdivided approximately 18 years ago but we saw that after Waitangi weekend through to Labour weekend there was virtually nobody up here and bugger all employment, so we always use to say it would be such a neat opportunity if we could set a holiday park up again at Hot Water Beach and create employment” she says. “So, we brought the land in early 2008 and opened up later that year on Christmas day.”
“There were a few challenges, as there hadn’t been any new campgrounds or holiday parks open up New Zealand wide for years, the rules and how it all worked was quite a process,” she says.
Accommodating up to 1000 people a night over summer, re-investing back into the holiday park to upgrade infrastructure substantially has been a key focus for them. “In regards to future plans, we will keep building to meet demand – the market dictates to us what we do next” says Sheree.
“The challenge we face now is our roads, and we support Thames-Coromandel District Council putting pressure on NZTA to upgrade our roads as they just aren’t going to cope,” she says.
Coming into their 10th summer after a busy fantastic Labour Weekend, visitor numbers at the holiday park was up on last year, despite the bad weather. Overall, 70% of visitors are international, primarily British, Australian and German. Domestically there is a big draw from Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton.
“I was really wrapped that Thames-Coromandel and Hauraki District Council’s held the awards to recognise the businesses in this area, because for someone like me who has lived in this area for so long, those businesses weren’t here 20 years ago and if they were chances are they would have closed over winter or permanently,” says Sheree.
“I think it’s really important to acknowledge and thank the two council’s for supporting these awards. It is exciting to see now business coming to area and surviving over winter. This starts bringing in the permanent families and residents and those are the people that actually keep our communities moving and growing,” she says.
“I would like to thank our team who work at the park with Grant and I, they make this all possible because we certainly couldn’t do it on our own. We love supporting other local businesses and recommending them to our visitors, and from talking to business owners at Hot Water Beach and Hahei, we are proud to hear that the holiday parks are often responsible for bringing people the people here, keeping them here, and then spending money in our communities,” says Mrs Webster.
To find out more or book in at the Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park click here.
See www.tcdc.govt.nz/camping for more about camping in the Coromandel.
For further details on the Hauraki-Coromandel business awards click here.