Mount Maunganui-based Pacific Coast Lodge & Backpackers took out the Tourism & Hospitality Award 2016 at the Westpac Tauranga Business Awards last week. This is the latest achievement in a long list of accolades presented by industry organisations and consumer voting panels to the business over the past three years both in Australia and New Zealand.
Winner of the TNT Golden Backpacker Award 2014 for best accommodation in New Zealand, finalists in 2015 and Trip Advisor 2015 Winner Certificate in Excellence, co-owners, Sarah Meadows & Matt Young, say this latest award has given them the extra confidence they needed to maintain their growth path.
“It feels absolutely amazing!” exclaimed Meadows after being presented with the 2016 Tourism & Hospitality Award. “It is great to be acknowledged for not just our hard work but our wonderful staff as well over the years, we couldn’t have done it without our fantastic teams at both hostels.”
Having purchased Pacific Coast Lodge four years ago to complement their other business, Harbourside City Backpackers (purchased in 2004), the couple have worked hard to build both into leading accommodation and tourism businesses for the Bay of Plenty region.
Judges for Westpac Tauranga Business Awards commented that Pacific Coast Lodge & Backpackers stood out from the other finalists by demonstrating a level of excellence across all areas.
“Sarah Meadows and Matt Young operate a successful business model based on a deep understanding of and delivery to their two diverse customer groups: Backpackers and School and Sporting Groups,” explained the judges.
Young believes this award shows that they now have their formula right, “We’ve got great staff who understand how the business works, and we've got a great culture not just in the hostel but within the team - everyone is aligned together.”
The judges agreed, “Guided by a clear vision, with the support of strong processes and systems this business holds leading market share and delivers to its stakeholders.”
Both directors are also keen to let the local business community know that an important part of what they do is also around providing a labour resource for other local businesses seeking short-term skilled and unskilled workers.
“We are filling a niche in the market,” explains Meadows. “We bring a lot of skilled and unskilled people into the area keen to work for agencies and employers who absolutely need workers at short notice.”
“We have 180 people with both hostels that are actively looking for work at any given time so that’s a big part of our market.”
Passionate about showcasing the Bay and what Mount Maunganui has to offer, Matt Young & Sarah Meadows are now looking to assess all opportunities to grow their business further.
“At the end of the day New Zealand and Tauranga are growing rapidly, and we are keen to be part of that growth,” Young says. “There is now an opportunity for us to go bigger using the same model but with more people around us to build a bright future for everyone.”