It is Always Good to Get a Gold Award

What’s Qualmark?

That was a comment from one of our more senior guides at a recent guides meeting where I mentioned that we had recently been assessed to Qualmark Gold under Qualmark’s Enviro awards.

While we are delighted, of course, to have been assessed to this standard, it did concern me that one of our own staff had no idea what Qualmark is. Qualmark is a national rating system used and owned by Tourism New Zealand, so I found that a little disturbing. If someone in the industry had no idea what Qualmark is, then is it in any way relevant to the travelling public?

Qualmark Gold

This is a little of what Qualmark has on its website (which is mainly orientated towards businesses that have already joined or are considering joining Qualmark).

“Qualmark is New Zealand tourism’s official quality assurance organisation, providing a trusted guide to quality travel experiences in New Zealand.

Qualmark helps businesses become more sustainable from a people, planet and profit perspective.”

You can find out more about what it means to a visitor here –

So what does getting a Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award say about River Valley? Again I have taken the following directly from

“A Gold Award recognises the best sustainable tourism businesses in New Zealand, with the delivery of exceptional customer experiences an integral part of everything they do.  A Gold Sustainable Tourism Award identifies those businesses leading the way in making the New Zealand tourism industry a world class sustainable visitor destination.”

All good, and no doubt a helpful guide for any traveller, but if no one actually takes note of it, does it matter?

The answer to whether it matters is, in many ways, more important to individual businesses. The award may not bring many more customers through the door, though undoubtedly it does bring some, but what it does offer is an opportunity to independently benchmark your business in the following areas.

These areas are Economic, Social & People, Environment & Culture and Health, Safety & Wellness.

As you can see from the above, the assessment goes into a lot of depth, with many of the standards required being quite a stretch.

I could write more about how all these types of audits and assessments are a drain on a small business. However, not this time around.

Qualmark, thank you for the Gold Award. I know we deserve it 😊

Brian Megaw

Qualmark Gold Certificate