Qualmark Tourism Business Advisor, Kevin Gough, could well be described as one of the accommodation sectors most recognisable figures. Having worked in tourism for 40 years (something that “scares and surprises” him), Kevin has crossed paths with operators the length and breadth of the country.
“I’ve been told I’d be probably the worst person in New Zealand to be an accommodation mystery shopper,” jokes Kevin of his ‘profile’ in the industry.
Kevin has considerable experience in the tourism sector, particularly within commercial accommodation, having been the General Manager of Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Golden Chain Motels and TOP 10 Holiday Parks over the past 20 years – chains that were all Qualmark partners.
“I have been an advocate of Qualmark since its inception in 1993. For me it was a natural step to work with Qualmark and do my best to add value to a broad range of commercial accommodators,” he says.
“Helping to make a difference is a key to my personal job satisfaction. I am always thinking how we can help make good properties good businesses also. In many ways Qualmark offers tools for economic and professional development for small and large tourism businesses. It never hurts to have a supportive, independent and informed eye run over your property and business annually.”
As a Qualmark Tourism Business Advisor, Kevin travels extensively. His ‘catchment’ covers Qualmark licence holders from Wanganui to Dunedin.
“I never tire of spending time on property with managers, occasionally I encounter one who is a bit sceptical about the process, but over the assessment I try to find out where they are coming from and deliver on those issues. If we can inject even a few fresh ideas, suggestions and challenges, most managers will see the value in our accreditation."
“I totally believe, more than ever in my 40 years’ in the industry, that the only future for Kiwi tourism is in quality and sustainability; and Qualmark can play a key role in monitoring and delivering that for businesses old and new, small and large.”