Monday, 30 May 2011

There is a place called Paradise, but Skippers Canyon...

... is Heaven.

Isn't this a lovely comment? We could hardly believe what one of our customers told us after the 4 hours unforgettable Skippers Canyon tour the other day. They joined us quite spontaneously - just thought that they would like to have a decent tour into the back country of Queenstown. They heard about us from a friend who told them not to miss Skippers Canyon.

This verdict that Skippers is worth a trip was confirmed by the local I-Site here in Queenstown and so they called us and arranged their tour.

Those customers would stay for a couple of days in Queenstown, doing all sorts of activities from water to air and land adventures, like Skippers Canyon. They enjoyed and marveled at the majestic Doubtful Sound and loved Milford Sound, of course. But Skippers Canyon was - as they said - better than Paradise: it was Heaven!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Behind the Scenes: we prepare to showcase at TRENZ 2011

TRENZ or Tourism Industry Rendezvous New Zealand is organized yearly by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand or TIANZ.

TRENZ is an international meeting where Buyers from all over the world travel to our little paradise to reconnect with their New Zealand Suppliers or start new business relationships. This rendezvous always takes place during the Autumn shoulder season and this year it will take place in Queenstown.

Next to the regular meetings, this year's TRENZ organizes some familiarization tours for suppliers. Those tours can help suppliers to experience first-hand what the suppliers do talk about.

Queenstown Heritage Tours participates for the second time at TRENZ. Last time, we joined this rendezvous 2 years ago and concluded the meeting with success. New business relationships could be initiated and existing ones were fostered.

It might appear that attending such a meeting is 'just talking' to people and easy to do. In theory, this is true. In practice, such a 3 day activity is work: preparing the pre-scheduled meetings which means to contact all preferred buyers to come and see us, preparing the documentation that is to be handed out at TRENZ, organizing who should attend and how the booth is staffed. The next preparation would be the marketing material, like banner stands, business cards, brochures and company documentation - all has to be created or at least checked if it is still up-to-date.

For our printing preparation, we use an online provider: Vista Print. This online provider creates a fantastic service for small businesses like ours.

And last but not least, after TRENZ, if needed some more information has to be sent out and information or negotiations have to be reconfirmed.

At the end of the day, TRENZ is something to look forward to. I like to meet new people and I truly like to get some rest as soon as TRENZ will be over.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Skippers stages a Comeback or True Love is hard to find

Terri Macnicol summarized amongst other stories in her book 'Echoes from Skippers Canyon' the following:

By the turn of the 20th century, the goldrush was over and the goldminers disappeared. Early in the 1930s though when New Zealand was in the grip of the Depression, Skippers enjoyed a moderate comeback after being a ghost town for years. Many men, unable to find employment, drifted to backwaters such as Skippers. Here they hoped to supplement their allowance with gold, always with the thought that they would strike it rich.

One of them was Jamie. He was a confirmed bachelor and lived alone not for from his mate Mike. Jamie was reputed to be the ugliest man in the district and tongues wagged furiously when it was rumoured that he was getting married. The big question was, who was the bride?

None were brave enough to ask the prospective groom and he kept his own counsel. He did confide to Mike, who told his friends in secret that Mary was a pen-friend whom Jamie had contacted through a Lonely Hearts Club.

Jamie was been writing her for months. His friends thought it would be a bit of a risk to marry someone before they know each other. They might not get on at all...

In due course the bride came to Jamie's cottage. She was not very good-looking herself. She was about Jamie's age, friendly without being over-interested in her neighbours. Jamie's little cottage sparkled soon with cleanliness and even Jamie himself changed. He shaved regularly and always appeared tidy and smart. Everyone agreed that Jamie and Mary were ideally suited for each other.

Just when it happened no one could say, but neighbours awoke to the fact that Mary was no longer with Jamie. Instead she was living with Mike - Jamie's friend. She appeared to be just as happy there as she had been with Jamie.

Apparently, Mary was not Jamie's type and so he told Mike that he could have her if he liked.

One day Mary and Mike departed for Queenstown. Friends prepared to celebrate their return, expecting they would come home man and wife. Mike came back that night - alone.
'Where is Mary?' he was asked. 'Oh, she is gone. I just went out to see her away. She sent her regards to all you womenfolk.'

That was all he had to say and the visitor was quickly forgotten. Mike and Jamie became firmer pals and reverted to their easygoing careless ways.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Behind the Scenes: Skippers Canyon tour preparation

While our customers give us feedback about how they experienced the unforgettable Skippers Canyon tour, our work is not over with the drop off. In fact, it starts with the preparation of the tour.

We assemble about 30 minutes before departure or pick up of the customers. We load the minibuses with the mugs and glasses, we prepare the sweet biscuits and put them on the respective tray and put a good size cheese ball into a jar. Next, we put the Trash Can and the serving trays into a minibus and add some wine and milk bottles.

We make sure that all windows are clean, that all our drivers know where to pick up how many passengers and then... off we go.

The tours are conducted according to the personal touch of each particular driver but in general, we follow the same rules: we like to give our customers the best time we possibly can - the feedback received so far confirms that we seem to do a good job!

After drop off, which can be anywhere in Queenstown or at the customer's accommodation, we return to our unit and clean the minibus. We consider our environment and clean the bus only with a water blaster. We then dry the windows and the carrosserie of the minibus, empty the back and put the dirty mugs and glasses into the dishwasher.

If one driver is finished with his cleaning he usually helps another one so that we all can pack up and enjoy the rest of the day a little bit earlier. While helping each other, the team exchanges their experiences and shares some feedback received with each other.

I always love it when the team comes back from a tour and I can see their happiness in their eyes. It fills me with pride to learn that our team enjoys the tour as much as the customers do - I know that they are passionate about Skippers Canyon and they love to share this passion with you - our visitors!

About Us

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Queenstown, Otago, New Zealand
I receive so many comments from our customers and wish to share them with you. All comments are verbally given to me or my team.