SHARE
Elite recognition ... Celebrating the 2019 Trip Advisor certificate of excellence the Hokonui Moonshine Museum has just been awarded are Gore Visitor Centre consultants (from left) Kate Martin and Linda Robertson and Tourism visitor centre senior consultant Renatta Hardy. PHOTO:SANDY EGGLESTON

The Hokonui Moonshine Museum is in an elite class of international tourist destinations, according to an internet travel site.

Last week the museum was awarded a 2019 Tripadvisor certificate of excellence.

Tourism visitor centre senior consultant Renatta Hardy said most of the visitors to the museum were from within New Zealand, but that should change with the Tripadvisor recognition.

“It puts us on the international map and .. we will see in the next year or so more international visitors,” Mrs Hardy said.

It would also increase the number of domestic visitors.

She said the award was reserved for a small proportion of the businesses listed on the Tripadvisor website.

“We are now in the top 10% [of businesses] that have consistently achieved great reviews over the past year.

“I’m really, really stoked,” Mrs Hardy said.

The certificate was recognition of the visitor centre staff’s hard work.

She was not sure how businesses were selected for the award, but understood there was a set procedure.

“Maybe one of the Tripadvisor’s consultants was here and we did not know .. maybe they have a secret shopper, I don’t know.”

Gore was becoming a popular destination.

“It’s just recognition that international visitors appreciate what Gore has to offer.

“They absolutely love the location .. the heritage centre, the visitor centre, the Hokonui Moonshine Museum .. complement each other.”

Feedback for the museum was always very positive on its website.

“[People] want something interactive, fun, engaging and that’s what we offer them.”

Some of the customers did not drink alcohol but still took advantage of the free sample of Hokonui whisky offered as part of the museum experience.

“So many times they say ‘we don’t drink, but we need to try’.”

Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks said it was very pleasing to receive the recognition.

“It’s fantastic to get that accolade and it is a real testament to the time and the effort and the passion that has gone into developing the moonshine story over the years, and it’s really good that we are in a position where we can advance that story,” Mr Hicks said.