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Twelve months after Ngāi Tahu Tourism bought Guided Walks New Zealand and Snowshoeing NZ, adding to its existing Hollyford Track Guided Walk company, the business is going from strength to strength.
“The company has moved from a five-day-a-week ‘summer only’ business to one that operates year-round,” says Business manager Travis Donoghue.
“It’s a huge change but one that brings many benefits. One of the best is guides working for both companies which offer ever-growing levels of professionalism and knowledge to our guests.
Travis says the first year of joint operation has “come with a lot of learning” which has translated into new and improved guided snowshoe experiences in particular.
“We’ve had high levels of interest in the snowshoeing from the Asian market, for example, and families across the board that are otherwise wary of getting out into the cold environment.
“As a result we’ve upped the clothing and accessories on offer for our Snowplay half day experience to include gloves and scarves in addition to boots and lightweight, waterproof jacket and over pants.
“It seems that many families don’t come to Queenstown with the right ‘cold weather’ clothing because they’re not contemplating going skiing, so rather than let that be a deterrent we’re helping them out.”
The three-quarter-day Snowshoe Adventure continues to outstrip all others as the most popular experience. Consisting of a walk to Lake Alta and lunch and hot drinks enjoyed with a “million-dollar-view”.
Travis is confident the improved portfolio of Snowshoe products will be welcomed by visitors to Queenstown this winter. “Once again we intend to be the first snow activity to open for business on the 1st of June as scheduled. “