Monday, August 21, 2017
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Queenstown & Wanaka

Queenstown Airport reports record July

July was a record month for Queenstown Airport, reaching over 200,000 total monthly passenger numbers for the first time.

Students invited to ‘dream big’ with tourism scholarship

Two Queenstown businesses have joined forces with their local high school to offer a student a scholarship to kickstart their global tourism career.

Skyline Queenstown launches ‘Fifty Years of Fun’

New Zealand’s most popular tourist attraction Skyline Queenstown is toasting its 50th anniversary with a month-long party.

Buy Side/Sell Side: Cardrona Alpine Resort’s Mat Woods

Cardrona Alpine Resort's head of sales, Mat Woods, on developing the Chinese market, the resort's $15m investment programme coming to fruition, a new year-round product and tapping into the trend for an alpine experience.

Tourism businesses eligible for Wanaka Business Awards

Wanaka’s flourishing business community has another opportunity to celebrate success with the launch of this year’s Ignite Wanaka Business Awards.

Wanaka Airport appoints operations manager

Experienced airport and aviation professional Daniel Debono will join the Wanaka Airport team early in 2018 as Operations Manager.

An Operator’s View: Hassle-free Tours’ Mark Gilbert

Hassle-free Tours owner Mark Gilbert on how he and his wife Nikki began their business, recovering from the Christchurch earthquakes, and the company's $2m expansion plans to launch in Queenstown and Auckland.

Remarkables Park launches worker accommodation for up to 600

Remarkables Park Ltd and investment company New Ground Capital have announced a new housing project which will help address a number of Queenstown’s most pressing issues.

Birds of a Feather Ball raises over $100K for conservation

Real Journeys lavish sold-out Birds of a Feather Conservation Ball has raised over $100,000 to help bring back the birds to the Wakatipu.

SkyCity CEO: Queenstown, Hamilton scoped for redevelopment, hotels

SkyCity Entertainment Group is evaluating its Queenstown and Hamilton sites for redevelopments which could include new hotels.

Spring ski fun for Australian visitors

Destination Queenstown has launched the latest instalment of its ski campaign activity this week with an invitation to Australians to visit the resort town for a spring snow holiday.

Getaway to Glenorchy’s A Sense of Place

This month’s Great Glenorchy Getaway Day tempts visitors and residents of Central Otago to explore A Sense of Place.

Great sexpectations for Gay Ski Week QT

The world’s number one condom brand Durex is pulling out all the stops to ensure the LGBTQI community has the most enjoyable Gay Ski Week QT yet.

Active Adventures on Blue Sky private equity deal

Queenstown tour operator Action Adventures has spoken publicly about its deal with Australian private equity firm Blue Sky.

Destination Queenstown organisation changes

The newly established position of Business Development Director will oversee all channel sales and trade marketing activity including domestic and international travel trade, industry partnerships and business events.

An Operator’s View: The Rees’ Mark Rose

Mark Rose, general manager of The Rees Hotel and Luxury Apartments, calls for better staff pay for industry workers, why more effort should be made to promote our 'New Zealandness', and why he's pushing the expansion of the hotel out if its Queenstown base.

Ngāi Tahu Tourism appoints GM jet boat experiences

Ngāi Tahu Tourism has appointed Jolanda Cave to a new executive role that will provide leadership to its jet boat businesses.

Aussie PE enters NZ tourism with Queenstown purchase

An Australian private equity investor has splashed millions for a stake in a Queenstown tour operator and is hunting for more deals in NZ's booming tourism sector.

Tourism tops half-a-billion dollars for Wanaka

The latest Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) shows visitor spend for the Wanaka region now equates to half a billion dollars annually.

Hassle-free Tours launches $2m expansion to Auckland, Queenstown

Christchurch-based Hassle-free Tours is expanding to Auckland and Queenstown in a $2m drive to push into new markets.

QLDC: No action to be taken for night flight breach

The Queenstown Lakes District Council will not take any enforcement in relation to a breach of curfew by the Queenstown Airport Corporation.

InterCity adds business class to Otago services

A new daily bus service between Dunedin and Queenstown will give travellers a taste of luxury on the road.

NZ’s first commercial ski field, Coronet Peak, turns 70

In 1947, Coronet Peak in Queenstown opened with just a rope tow pulling keen skiers up a mountain, the first commercial ski field to open in New Zealand.

Domestic passengers surge as Queenstown reports record

Queenstown Airport has reported another record rise in passengers with 1.89m travelling through its Frankton terminal in the year to June, up 15% compared to the previous corresponding period.

The Rees targets Auckland, Christchurch with new luxury offerings

Queenstown’s The Rees Hotel has launched a luxury motor yacht in Auckland and is on the cusp of starting development of a new five-star hotel in Christchurch.

Off Road Adventures launches new expeditions

One of Queenstown's longest-standing adventure tourism companies is revving up the adventure experience to a whole new level.

Great Glenorchy Getaway Day Gets Wild

The winter Great Glenorchy Getaway Days are back, and visitors and residents of Central Otago are invited to inspire their “inner survivor” and get wild about the spirit of resilience on Saturday 22 July.

An Operator’s View: Coronet Peak’s Nigel Kerr

Coronet Peak’s ski area manager, Nigel Kerr, on what's changed in the snow industry, what hasn't, and what's happening at one of the country's most popular ski fields.

ACT: Boost infrastructure in productive Queenstown

Only ACT has a clear policy to get Queenstown infrastructure caught up with the enormous pressure it faces, says ACT Leader David Seymour as he visits the town.

Queenstown Airport: Out-of-hours departure investigated

Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) has completed its investigation into the after-dark flight which departed 13 minutes outside the airport’s consented operating hours on 20 May 2017.

Coping with tourism at heart of new Queenstown plan

Coping with booming tourism and a potential tripling of international visitors by 2026 is a critical facet of the Queenstown’s new town centre masterplan.

Airport visitors can now tap & go

Visitors to Queenstown Airport will now have a more convenient way to pay for car parking following the installation of new technology and Tap & Go facilities earlier this month.

Two international wine awards for The Rees

The Rees Hotel Queenstown has yet again scooped up two major international wine awards for its True South Wine List Dining Room.

Skyline seeks expansion as profits surge 26%

Skyline Enterprises has announced a 26% leap in pretax profit as it continues to look at new tourism opportunities at home and abroad.

Winter is here! Treble Cone opens tomorrow.

This weekend the wintery weather enabled the hardworking Snow Makers to complement the natural snow fall from the weekend, which ensures that Treble Cone Ski Area will open Saddle Basin, Home Basin, Nice ‘n’ Easy Platter and the Magic Carpet.

Queenstown backs events with $583k funding

The Queenstown Lakes District Council has distributed $583,500 to 17 events citing their potential to attract tourists to the region.

Coronet Peak opens all lifts

Coronet Peak, Queenstown’s closest ski field, has opened all eight of its lifts, one of the first in New Zealand to do so.

Rare WOW footage released

Rare and historic footage from two of the very earliest Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshows has been uncovered and released on DVD for the first time.

Queenstown Airport soars with 17% jump in passengers

Queenstown Airport’s total passengers jumped by 17.1% to 119,231 in May 2017, compared to the same month last year, according to owner Auckland Airport in its latest traffic update.

Sellers bank $400K after skydivers smash jump target

Skydive Wanaka has broken through the 17,000 tandem jumps target set by Skydive the Beach allowing the Otago operation's previous owners to bank $400,000.

Haka Tours goes premium with Haka Black

Ryan Sanders’ Haka Tours is moving upmarket with the launch of a new Black Label premium product.

New sightseeing experience at Cardrona

With the new McDougall’s Chondola this winter, we’re very excited to launch a new Sightseeing product at Cardrona for the 2017 season & beyond.

Treble Cone on standby

Due to some unusually warm temperatures over the past week, the Home Basin has insufficient snow cover to proceed with opening day.

“Desperate need” for new Queenstown accommodation

Queenstown is in desperate need of new visitor accommodation and the response to date is well short of demand, according to Colliers International.

FMC: Time for Remarkables National Park

Federated Mountain Clubs (FMC) has launched its Remarkable Outdoors campaign headlined by a proposed new national park - ‘The Remarkables National Park’ in the Otago Southland high-country near Queenstown.

Delays on popular tourist route

People who use the road between Wanaka and Tarras, State Highway 8A, may experience some disruptions from next week

Airport chair appointed WOW trustee

A former top lawyer with strong family ties to the Battle of Britain has joined the Warbirds Over Wanaka Community Trust board.

$10m Chondola launches as skiers hit southern slopes

Cardrona's $10m McDougall's Express Chondola made its season debut with the opening of the Cardrona ski field.

Skyline Queenstown celebrates 50th anniversary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHvnViKETXY PRESS RELEASE: Skyline Enterprises New Zealand’s most-visited tourist attraction, Skyline Queenstown, kicks off five months of community-focused celebrations to mark its 50th anniversary. The pioneering NZ-based global tourism company launches ‘50 Years of Fun’ – an exciting...

Queenstown Trails Trust targets $30,000 fundraising

PRESS RELEASE: Queenstown Trails Trust The Queenstown Trails Trust is spearheading a major fundraising appeal during June in a bid to boost membership and provide all important funding support for on-going trail development in the Wakatipu. CEO...

New parking options on the way for Queenstown Airport

Southern Lakes residents and visitors alike will soon see some changes to parking at Queenstown Airport.

An Operator’s View: Crowne Plaza Queenstown’s Anna Edie

Crowne Plaza Queenstown’s General Manager Anna Edie on adapting to her first general manager role in New Zealand, hiring great talent and operating with a point of difference.

Wednesday Letter: Tourism Minister Paula Bennett

Tourism Minister Paula Bennett on why she is focused on helping regional NZ, the government's funding priorities, and why Queenstown and other regions may be able to get more support.  The tourism industry has enjoyed...

Go Bus wins airport park and ride contract

Go Bus has secured the contract to deliver passengers to and from Queenstown Airport's new 150-space park and ride facility.

Eichardt’s Private Hotel in symphony with budding violinists

Queenstown’s Imperium Collection of luxury hotels is set to enter the winter months on a high note.

International C&I buyers do it the Wanaka way

In the largest famil of its kind in Wanaka, 31 international incentive travel buyers are sampling the experiences on offer in the Central Otago town.

Net zero energy camp manager appointed

Peter Kerr has been appointed Manager of Camp Glenorchy, a new residential tourist destination for meetings and retreats, school trips, family celebrations, and friends who share a love of the great outdoors.

Skyline faces Ziptrek objections to $100m gondola plan

Ziptrek Ecotours’ director Trent Yeo will today give evidence in Skyline Enterprises’ application for a $100m redevelopment in Queenstown.

New tourism hub for historic high country station

A historic central Otago high country station is creating a new Wanaka tourism hub by expanding its experiences offer.

Nomad goes 360° as it expands offering

Nomad Safaris, Queenstown’s oldest off-road tour company, has introduced two new activities to its adventure menu for 2017.

Treble Cone gets its guns out

Treble Cone are proud to announce extra snowmaking facilities for the 2017 season.

New CEO for Queenstown Trails Trust

PRESS RELEASE: Queenstown Trails Trust The Queenstown Trails Trust has appointed respected Queenstown businessman and elite sportsman Mark (Willy) Williams as its new chief executive. Chairman Tony McQuilkin says Williams, who replaces Mandy Kennedy as CEO, brings...

Destination Queenstown’s new winter campaign

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pJG4cUWCNs Destination Queenstown’s new winter campaign has been created entirely from user-generated content (UGC). The Regional Tourism Organisation has created short clips using videos and photos from visitors’ social media channels to encourage Australians to visit...

New head chef at Crowne Plaza Queenstown

More than a decade of travel and culinary adventures has come full circle with the appointment of Robin Lilley to the position of head chef at Crowne PlazaQueenstown.

New Zealand tourism talent exported to Las Vegas

A unique New Zealand adventure tourism experience favoured by celebrities including Fast and Furious’ film star Michelle Rodriguez is heading to Sin City.

Skyline Enterprises appoints pharma boss as new CEO

Skyline Enterprises has appointed former GlaxoSmithKline Australia boss Geoff McDonald as its new chief executive.

An Operator’s View: NZ Fine Touring Group’s David Kettle

NZ Fine Touring Group co-founder David Kettle on the Wanaka-based company's expansion plans, preparing to enter a new market segment, and why the inbounder is considering entering the hotel sector.

QAC secures control of Wanaka Airport

Queenstown Airport Corporation has secured the lease of Wanaka Airport allowing it to control the two largest airports in Central Otago.

Real Journeys hits ‘Go’ on merger

Real Journeys has restructured its business to create two distinct tourism companies.

Easter travel tips from Queenstown Airport

With so many people on the move, we wanted to give you some travel tips to make your weekend run as smoothly and safely as possible.

Unique honey centre to target Chinese market

A unique new honey centre is to be built in Queenstown to tap into rising demand from Chinese visitors for the local delicacy.

Colliers: NZ hotel deals top $500m

The New Zealand hotel market has seen its most buoyant period of activity in a decade with over $500m of hotel assets changing hands in past two years.

Festival of Colour opens with fire, song & poetry

More than 850 people gathered on Lake Wanaka’s waterfront for bonfires, song and poetry at the opening night celebrations of the seventh Festival of Colour.

Rare bird returns home this weekend

A ‘rare bird’ will take flight over Queenstown this weekend as part of the Aviation Pioneers’ 70th Anniversary Reunion, which runs 7-9 April.

Airbnb Trips NZ: the conditions and costs of launching your experience

Launched last week, the peer-to-peer accommodation provider has added Queenstown to its Experiences offer.

Shotover Jet achieves Qualmark Gold in Sustainable Tourism

Shotover Jet has for the first time achieved a Qualmark Gold Sustainable Tourism Business award, with Qualmark confirming the experience as a ‘must do’ Queenstown activity.

Last reunion of Queenstown aviation pioneers

Queenstown aviation pioneers and their families will gather at Queenstown 7-9 April 2017 for a last reunion.

Coronet Peak launches midweek night skiing

Coronet Peak is bringing out the stars on Wednesdays nights, as it extends its popular Friday and Saturday Twilight and Night skiing experience to Wednesdays during July.

TripAdvisor: Queenstown NZ’s #1 destination

Queenstown has been named the number one destination in New Zealand in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards 2017.

Treble Cone invests in new snowmaking system

Treble Cone is proud to announce that a new snowmaking system will be in place for the 2017 season.

Light-hearted video tackles serious topic

Lake Wanaka Tourism is launching a series of light-hearted educational videos, which aim to deliver some important messages to travellers visiting the region.

Queenstown convention lead leaves

Queenstown convention bureau manager Regan Pearce has left his position.

Hotel occupancy falls across NZ over summer

Hotel occupancy dropped by 2.5% over summer as the average room rate across New Zealand grew by 12.7% to $199.99.

Q&A with Cardrona Alpine Resort’s Bridget Legnavsky

Bridget Legnavsky, Cardrona Alpine Resort Bridget Legnavsky is the general manager of Cardrona Alpine Resort, which in recent year’s has been blazing a trail in terms of NZ skifield’s developing their summer offer. Winter is...

Golf courses forged by nature draw in the putters

New Zealand’s unique golf courses, many created within landscapes forged by nature are proving a drawcard for international visitors.

Quake delays launch of AJ Hackett’s $2m Nevis Thriller

AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand has delayed the opening of its new Queenstown activity after crucial equipment was stranded by the Kaikoura Earthquake.

Q&A with JUCY’s Kat Van Dijk

Kat Van Dijk entered tourism relatively recently when she joined JUCY just over four years ago. She is GM Southern Lakes at what was originally a car rental company but has expanded into campervans, cruise and hotels.

Golf tourism to benefit from $5.5m in govt grants

Golf tourism is expected to benefit from a government injection of $5.5m into two major golfing events.

Access to natural heritage celebrated at awards

Six of New Zealand’s champions of public access were recognised on Tuesday for their achievements in enhancing public access and offering new opportunities for New Zealanders to experience our great outdoors.

Queenstown Airport interim revenue jumps 25% to $20m

Queenstown Airport Corporation has reported a solid half-year result, achieving a net profit after tax of $6.2m for the first six months of the 2017 financial year.

Cardrona invests $15m in winter ’17

Cardona Alpine Resort is on track to complete $15m of developments in time for the winter season.

Destination Queenstown collaborates with MiNDFOOD

Destination Queenstown has partnered with leading lifestyle magazine MiNDFOOD in an innovative partnership to promote Queenstown this autumn.

Real Journeys’ Richard Lauder on $20m Walter Peak investment and beyond

Real Journeys is embarking on an extensive development programme which will see it pump millions into its major attractions.

Queenstown Airport buys Wanaka farm, gets into $750k “groove” 

Queenstown Airport Corporation has acquired Windermere Farm, a 43-hectare block of land located adjacent to Wanaka Airport.

Destination Queenstown unveils new official visitor website

Destination Queenstown has unveiled a brand new website to showcase New Zealand’s favourite visitor destination this week.

Skydive Wanaka helps Aussies lift NZ revenue by 362%

Skydive the Beach reported an 84% surge in its half-year pre-tax profit boosted by its acquisition including Skydive Wanaka, which it bought in July last year.

Wellington, Queenstown airports lose court appeals

Wellington and Queenstown airports have both lost separate Court of Appeal decisions over their runway safety areas.

Southern Discoveries invests $2m into “seamless” Milford tours

Southern Discoveries will enter Queenstown’s competitive coach sector after committing close to $2m to launch a fleet of coaches.

New generation jet boat launches in Queenstown

An innovative new generation of jet boat has launched onto the Queenstown scene, able to carry almost double the number of passengers than an average river jet boat.

Public transport breakthrough for the Wakatipu

A much needed radical shift in public transport for the Wakatipu Basin’s residence and visitors has taken a step closer.
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ROUND UP

April 2017

Sunday sorted but… Wanaka shop owners are looking forward to trading on Easter Sunday without fear of prosecution, but still plan to open on Good Friday. ODT

Airport land battle keeps going The battle over 16ha of land at Frankton, known as Lot 6, may not yet be over. ODT

South Korean luge celebrated Queenstown tourism operator Skyline Enterprises has been formally congratulated by South Korean government officials at the opening ceremony for its $20 million luge investment in Tongyeong City. ODT

Accommodation registrations still coming in Council threats are flushing out Queenstown’s unregistered holiday let owners. ODT

Too few beds for two events Wanaka accommodation providers and Lake Wanaka Tourism are predicting there will be an accommodation crisis in March next year due to the Wanaka A&P Show and the Motatapu race both being held on the second weekend that month. ODT

March 2017

Freedom camping turns feral Freedom campers have been snapped sleeping under trees in Queenstown. Mountain Scene

Queenstown first in New Zealand to have Airbnb Experience Airbnb has launched it’s first New Zealand Experience destination as the company diversifies its offerings. Stuff

Resort restaurateur heads to beach Forty years after first coming to Queenstown, the resort’s longest-serving restaurateur is upping sticks. Mountain Scene

Resort tracks caked in cack Queenstown council’s parks boss Clare Tomkins says her team come across human poo almost daily. Mountain Scene

Levy on visitors rejected A visitor levy to pay for Queenstown infrastructure looks to be a non-starter. ODT

Remarkables set to install high-tech new ski lift ahead of new season The Remarkables skifield will open a pioneering conveyor lift. Stuff

$10m hotel build Consent’s been lodged for a new Queenstown hotel, which will cost up to $10m. Mountain Scene

New facilities, parks for SH6 tourists Car parking is to be extended and toilets provided for visitors at the Blue Pools tourist stop on State Highway 6 near Makarora. ODT

Old stalwart to return to skies A former workhorse of Queenstown’s skies will touch down in the resort next month for a get-together of airline pioneers. Otago Daily Times

NZ’s newest trail: Creatives lure travellers south with scones Three creatives are tempting travellers south using the humble scone. Stuff

PM ‘on edge’ at Wanaka attraction More precisely he was on the edge of local tourism attraction the waterfall climb at Wildwire Wanaka. Otago Daily Times

Queenstown Airport warned ongoing growth could start driving people out of Queenstown The Queenstown Airport Corporation has been warned not to kill the golden goose with its ongoing expansion. Stuff

Queenstown and Wanaka Airports to complement each other if working together Queenstown Airport Corporation representatives see the operation of the Wanaka and Queenstown Airports as complimenting each other, if they are granted governance of Wanaka. Stuff

A ‘fair go’ from taxes? A visitor levy is not the answer to Queenstown’s lagging infrastructure, NZ First leader Winston Peters says. Otago Daily Times

Resort restaurateur heads to beach Forty years after first coming to Queenstown, the resort’s longest-serving restaurateur is upping sticks. Mountain Scene

$20m redevelopment programme for Walter Peak Queenstown tourism firm Real Journeys is investing $20 million in farm tourism at Walter Peak, on Lake Wakatipu. Otago Daily Times