Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle Wins Major Chinese Tourism Award

A family owned Abel Tasman water taxi company has beaten some of the worlds largest tourism operators to win a prestigious Chinese tourism award. Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle was presented overnight with a Service Quality award (Silver) at the China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market in Beijing – China’s leading outbound travel exhibition. The Chinese Tourists Welcoming Awards (CTW) recognises companies that go the extra mile to accommodate Chinese travelers and meet their specific requirements. Previous award winners include United Airlines, Avis Rent A Car and the Seychelles Tourism Board

Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle co-owner Keith Knapp says he is thrilled the work the company has put in to attract Chinese tourists has been acknowledged.

“It is a real thrill to see our little company up there with the likes of United Airlines and Avis. Chinese tourists still make up a small percentage of our business but we noticed a huge increase at the end of the summer season and have put a lot of effort into preparing for the predicted influx,” he says.

China is New Zealand’s fastest growing market for international visitors. This week Prime Minister John Key, who is currently heading a trade delegation in China, predicted the number of Chinese tourists would grow fivefold over the next five years to one million visitors annually.

Zane Smith from tourism marketing company Vation Ltd accepted the award in Beijing on behalf of Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle.

“Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle should be very proud as the award recognises the company’s strong values, integrity and great service. Within minutes of winning I was being approached by Chinese outbound tour companies so the win will have a positive impact on business,” he says.

“I have worked in the tourism industry for 21 years and have never seen a new market emerge so quickly. Even in the last year the dynamics of the Chinese market has changed, we are now seeing wealthier, more educated and well-travelled Chinese coming to New Zealand. There is huge opportunity for tourism businesses especially as the Chinese also travel in our shoulder and winter seasons”.

Vation Ltd undertook Chinese specific marketing for Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle. Staff engaged in customer service training learning about specific requirements to deal with this new market, including Chinese culture & history, behavioural nuances and basic language skills. Marketing information such as brochures, the website and even promotional videos were translated into Chinese.

“When the Chinese do arrive they are absolutely amazed that we have gone to so much trouble. We have noticed they are becoming more adventurous so for us it is about attracting Chinese visitors to the Abel Tasman and making it easy for them,” says Keith Knapp.

Dr Wolfgang Arlt from the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) says from 2013 China will be the largest outbound tourism market in the world, spending more than $100 billion US on travel. “The vast increase is due to the social changes taking place within China today, everyone is looking to China to be the next big thing in tourism, and it’s very, very real!,” he says.

Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle is a family owned water taxi company that operates from picturesque Kaiteriteri Beach near Motueka. The company runs four ferries in the Abel Tasman National Park.

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Bus transfer to and from Nelson with Abel Tasman Sea Shuttles on selected departures! *

Our trips offer you superb experiences in the Abel Tasman National Park, while traveling on clear, blue water. We have purpose-built catamaran water taxis, with easy walk on-off access for all age groups and our experienced and knowledgeable team will ensure you get the best out of your time in this part of New Zealand.

We are based in picturesque Kaiteriteri, with it’s stunning beach and proximity to the Abel Tasman National Park making it a mecca for kiwis and internationals alike!

*The Bus Transfers meet the 9am departure from Kaiteriteri to the Abel Tasman National Park. The return Bus Transfer meets the 4.20pm return into Kaiteriteri and departs Kaiteriteri back to Motueka/Nelson at 4.30pm.


Nelson Kaiteriteri return          $30pp
Motueka Kaiteriteri return         FREE
Nelson Kaiteriteri One way      $20pp
Kaiteriteri to Marahau              $10pp

Bus transfers need to be arranged at least the day prior to travel by phoning us on 0800 732 748.

Cancellation Policy: Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle gives a full refund for cancellation due to weather, or if made more than one hour before sailing time. Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle reserves the right to cancel or alter a trip, time or destination if necessary for our passengers safety. Whilst every care will be taken, Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage to clients personal effects. Prices and times subject to alteration. Bookings Essential.

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As a locally owned family business Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle prides itself on giving you an extraordinary experience to remember.

Our purpose-built water taxi's are designed, built, maintained and driven by our team which makes us unique in that we know every inch of our vessels intimately, providing you the best in comfort and safety.

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