Tourism's rising stars named

Monday 17 September 2012, 7:45PM
By Tourism Industry Association New Zealand

Three of the tourism industry’s rising stars have been named as finalists in the PATA Young Tourism Entrepreneur Award for 2012.

They are:

  • Clare Davies, General Manager, Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco
  • Clinton Farley, Hotel Manager, Hilton Lake Taupo
  • Mark Gilbert, Managing Director/Co-owner, Hassle-free Tours, Christchurch.


Clare Davies is the Managing Director of the Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco Resort based in Nelson, and Director and Owner of Raetihi Lodge in the Marlborough Sounds. Clare has been involved with, and is part-owner of, the Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco since April 2004. She also makes a strong contribution to local and regional tourism activities, and passionately promotes the Nelson/Marlborough region whenever the opportunity arises.

Clinton Farley has 15 years’ experience in New Zealand’s tourism and hospitality sector. He manages the multi award-winning five star Hilton Lake Taupo hotel and saw it achieve a Qualmark Enviro Gold award in the second year of operation. He is a director of Taupo Chamber of Commerce and Great Lake Taupo Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO).

With his wife Nikki, Mark Gilbert established Hassle-free Tours nine years ago, offering visitors tours of the Canterbury high country and more recently, of Christchurch city. In that time, the business has grown to employ up to 12 employees in the summer season. This year Hassle-free Tours is projected to carry an estimated 17,500 passengers.

PATA NZ Chairman Neil Plimmer congratulated the finalists, saying it was a challenge to select three from a high calibre list of entries.

“There is no question the winner will be a role model for young drivers of the tourism industry, which adds $63 million to New Zealand’s economy every day of the year,” Mr Plimmer says.

The winner of the 2012 PATA Young Tourism Entrepreneur Award will be announced at the 2012 TIA Summit in Wellington on 2 October. The winner of the Horwath HTL Sir Jack Newman Award, which recognises an outstanding contribution to the tourism industry, will also be revealed at the Summit.

The Awards are managed by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA). For more information, go to

2012 Tourism Summit
For more information about the 2012 Tourism Summit, go to