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Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award 2010

Global award for New Zealand Tourism Company

Auckland tourism company TIME Unlimited Tours has just been pronounced overall winner in the public vote section of the global Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award 2010. The competition comprised applicants from 10 different countries around the world (Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mexico, Micronesia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Sweden).

TIME Unlimited Tours not only won this highly prestigious global award; in addition they won by a huge margin ahead of all other applicants, achieving 48.2% of all votes cast worldwide. The 2nd and 3rd-placed organisations achieved 21.1% and 9.8% respectively of votes cast.

The Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award 2010 is a collaborative effort between Planeta.com and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity/UNEP (CBD) with the generous support of the Heidehof Foundation. It is presented to an indigenous tourism operation which has a website that promotes sustainable practices and educates visitors on cultural protocols and biodiversity conservation.

Auckland based TIME Unlimited Tours was established in 2005 by bicultural couple Ceillhe and Neill Sperath. Ceillhe Tewhare Teneti Hema Sperath is tangata whenua, a direct descendant of the famous Ngapuhi chief Patuone. Neill is tauiwi, of Irish and German origin, and a proud New Zealander by choice. Both are passionate about New Zealand and are proud parents of their daughter Danica Matariki Sperath, who was born in Auckland around Matariki (the Maori New Year) in 2009. Both are equally passionate about how New Zealand’s unique culture and environment should be shared with their guests.

TIME Unlimited Tours offers the most extensive range of high-quality guided tours available in Auckland, New Zealand. These are:
– Auckland Personal Guided Tours;
– Auckland Maori Tours;
– Interactive Maori Culture Experiences;
– Guided Wilderness Walks;
– Kayak Fishing Tours;
– Kayaking Adventures;
– Kite Fishing Tours;
– Private Auckland and NZ Tours.

TIME Unlimited Tours, says Ceillhe Sperath, is founded on three essential pou, or pillars, of Maoritanga (Maori culture); manaakitanga (hospitality), whakawhanaungatanga (relationships) and kaitiakitanga (guardianship). On their tours, Ceillhe explains, Manaakitanga translates into welcoming, respectful, caring, reliable and punctual service. Whanaungatanga means sharing experiences, finding common ground, forging links, making friends and becoming like family. Kaitiakitanga means ensuring respect, care and protection for the environment – the streets, parks and institutions, the land, beaches, sea and bush that they pass through.

The TIME in TIME Unlimited Tours is an acronym for “To Integrate Maori Experiences”. Te taha Maori, or the Maori dimension, therefore, is fundamental to their extensive range of tours and experiences. Their Interactive Marae Experiences mean total immersion in the Maori world, with Te Reo (language) and Tikanga (protocol). Their Auckland Maori Tours trace the story of Maori, along with landmarks, flora and fauna across the greater Auckland landscape and from mai rano, or prehistory, to modern times. On their Kia Ora Cuisine evenings, gourmet Kiwi cuisine and kai Maori (Maori food) specialities are served and eaten according to tikanga Maori. TIME Unlimited Tours not only reflects Aotearoa New Zealand’s bi-cultural partnership. It also nurtures and promotes, in all of its experiences, that rich dual heritage which makes this country unique.

In April 2010, TIME Unlimited Tours will receive this global tourism award at an international tourism trade fair, the Reisepavillon in Berlin, Germany. Since 1991, the Reisepavillon has been a global focal point for responsible tourism. An average of 25,000 visitors each year have an opportunity to meet competent tourism operators and practitioners in a wide-ranging programme of events (90-120 presentations, workshops and chaired discussions). On this occasion, the organisers of the Reisepavillon and leading German tourism trade associations will collaborate to assist TIME Unlimited Tours to meet with leading operators and agents dedicated to sustainable tourism. Ceillhe, Neill and Danica Matariki Sperath will be travelling to Germany to accept this award on behalf of their company TIME Unlimited Tours, Auckland and New Zealand.

Ceillhe & Neill Sperath, “Directors of TIME”, says: “We are absolutely delighted to receive such an outstanding accolade for our company. It is very humbling for us that TIME Unlimited Tours was chosen by people from around the world with such an overwhelming majority for this prestigious global award and we really look forward to travelling to Germany in April to accept it. Many thanks to all those around New Zealand and around the world that supported our application”.

TIME Unlimited Tours will now also receive technical support and participate in a workshop on innovative Web-based tools for marketing and communications, facilitated by webmaster Ron Mader. A publication on the award, its nominees and winners and the lessons learned, will be distributed at the event.

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