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Inaugural Qualmark New Zealand Travel Guide Launched

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The inaugural Qualmark 2009 New Zealand Travel Guide is soon to be distributed throughout the country.  The guide makes it easier for travellers to identify quality assured accommodation options according to the star grading they are looking for, and to choose quality visitor activity, transport and service experiences.

"As the guidebook only includes Qualmark assured tourism businesses, this is a ‘first’ for New Zealand visitor information resources. It means that visitors on the look out for a free guide book with a wide range of quality assured places to stay, things to do and ways to get there need look no further," said Qualmark Chief Executive Geoff Penrose.

Qualmark is New Zealand’s official mark of quality in tourism. With a print run of 15,000, and at over 900 pages, the guidebook features a useful page marker with the star grading explanation for accommodation properties, regional information, city and town directories, maps and the AA’s popular 101 Must-Do’s and Must-Do Weekends.

Peter Blackwell, General Manager - AA Tourism, said that the publication of Qualmark only rated businesses is complementary to the existing range of AA travel guide and map publications.

"As a joint owner of Qualmark, the AA’s support for the guide reflects our commitment to industry-wide quality service standards, an integral component of delivering a truly satisfying and memorable experience. AA is pleased that our publishing expertise could be used to enhance Qualmark’s offering to licensees," he said.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton said the size of the guide demonstrated the sheer number of New Zealand tourism businesses providing quality assured experiences.

"We know our international visitors are more satisfied with their experiences when they use Qualmark-rated businesses and this guide will ensure New Zealand remains highly competitive on the international stage as a high quality destination. This travel guide will prove to be a useful tool for both international and domestic travellers," Mr Hickton said.

In addition to being provided to the i-SITE Visitor Information Network, Tourism New Zealand has an international distribution plan under way for the guides.

Planning for the guide’s second edition is underway, and this will include the new Qualmark Green enviro-logos alongside star grading and endorsement logos.

"This means that travellers will also be able to easily identify top-performing environmentally conscious tourism experiences, from backpackers, to luxury lodges, and a range of visitor activities and transport providers that are proactively and effectively managing their impacts on their environment," Mr Penrose said. "There are currently over 70 tourism businesses that have achieved Qualmark Enviro-Bronze, Enviro-Silver or Enviro-Gold recognition."

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