Haka Tourism Group

Best Emerging Business under $10m (jointly with Timely) for the 2016 New Zealand International Business Awards

The New Zealand tour company Haka Tourism Group pins its success on investing in the right people and growing its intellectual capital in-house.

The company markets and operates guided adventure, snow and mountain bike tours throughout New Zealand, as well as creating bespoke private and custom tours. They also own a network of upmarket backpackers called Haka Lodge.

Haka Tourism Group has won a raft of business and tourism awards since it began in 2006, and its founder Ryan Sanders says the tours are just one aspect of the successful business.

“Whilst we are a tourism business, we are also a digital marketing company and made a strategic decision to build our own internal web agency in-house,” Sanders says.

“Haka Tourism Group is aiming to be synonymous with exceptional New Zealand tourism products to our core international markets. We will continue to innovate by creating highly targeted tour products supported by an ever-growing shared service business model.”

The company has experienced a staggering 145 percent growth in international business in the past year alone, and its digital marketing manager Jitendra Patel says Haka Tourism Group relies on its customers to help it develop new tours.

“When going global test your product when it’s 80 percent ready, collect customer feedback and focus on making improvements.

This is far more effective than trying to craft the perfect product in an environment of ever changing consumer needs.”

Sanders launched the guided adventure tours in 2006, bypassing the travel agencies and creating an online booking system that allowed customers to customise and book their trips direct.

Since then, Haka Tours has grown to attract customers from more than 30 countries. Australia is the company’s biggest market, and Sanders expects future growth will also come from the USA and Asia.

Although it was born digital, Haka Tours recently decided to seek a major global travel agency partnership to help boost sales. Within two weeks of going to market for a partner, it had signed a global deal with Flight Centre.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the awards, run by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) with strategic partner ANZ, which celebrate the success of New Zealand businesses on the world stage.

From the Judges:

Haka Tours have used comprehensive research to inform their products and markets. They have a good structured approach to market, and have demonstrated strong market understanding in developing their brand.

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