Timaru students who launched a reusable bag to encourage responsible camping have taken home the first ever YES National Excellence Tourism Award.
Under the business name Patiti Point, the Roncalli College students devised the winning product as part of the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES), a year-long programme where students set up an actual company complete with real products and services, and real profit and loss.
The Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust (TINZT) was one of 13 sponsors of the 2019 Awards, offering a $1000 prize to the company who created the most innovative tourism product, service or enterprise.
TINZT is managed by Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) and one of the Trust’s aims is educating on matters relating to the tourism industry.
Patiti Point’s business model involved stocking campervans with the environmentally friendly bags in order to provide visitors with a reusable option for rubbish or storage, thus encouraging responsible camping. Their product features a Kiwiana-style map of New Zealand, complete with Drive Safe messaging to help visiting drivers navigate our roads.
Patiti Point established product values, carried out market research, produced a financial report and formed strong partnerships with their local community.
In line with TINZT’s values, the company also had to demonstrate that their offering could enhance tourism in their local community or at a national level.
In their submission, Patiti Point stated: “We knew that New Zealand was banning single-use plastic bags, and we wanted to create something useful that would fill this gap. We see sustainability as something that needs to be a focus and drive for more businesses in New Zealand.”
TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says the company had a clear awareness of relevant tourism issues and had developed the product as a viable solution.
“Patiti Point ticked several boxes for us,” says Mr Roberts. “The business is run by three motivated individuals who all contributed equally to the success of the company through their defined roles, enthusiasm and ability to overcome setbacks.”
“They reached out to the local community and got an impressive amount of support through fundraisers, sponsorship and local business partnerships.”
More information about the YES National Excellence Awards can be found here.