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High-End Experiential Travel in New Zealand

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The Experience List - Peer Group Association

The Experience List - Peer Group Association

“The Experience List” is a first-ever grouping of country experts, known in the travel trade as luxury DMCs. These Destination Management Companies manage every aspect of an itinerary in their country from touchdown to wheels-up - bringing a very high level of service to their...

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Split Apple Retreat - Lee Nelson's Masterpiece

Split Apple Retreat - Lee Nelson's Masterpiece

I did a lightning fast trip around the top of the South Island last week and fell in love with Split Apple Retreat.  Here are my notes on the property: Abel Tasman, Nelson If a masterpiece is a man-made work with nothing out of place, a composition pleasing on a number of levels...

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Christmas/New Year in New Zealand

Christmas/New Year in New Zealand

We're seeing a return to booking levels which last existed 4-5 years ago.  Unfortunately New Zealand is still most popular for that Dec 15 - Jan 15 period and the country - at this highest level - is already almost full.  Queenstown over New Year?  Forget it.  Same with Huka...

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Travel + Leisure A-List

Travel + Leisure A-List

A few years ago, while I was still grinding this business slowly uphill I was standing at a urinal, as one does.  Above each urinal in this place (which I forget) were quotations from people who had 'made it'.  The one above my urinal said something along the lines of "I made it...

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Huka Lodge - back to its best

Huka Lodge - back to its best

Huka Lodge has long been known as the pioneer of our luxury lodges, blazing the trail for our current world-class line-up.  Award after award has attested to its pre-eminence.  But all was not always right.  A few years ago we used to not recommend Huka as some clients weren't that...

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Is Luxury New Zealand Too Expensive for Tourists?

Is Luxury New Zealand Too Expensive for Tourists?

In a word.  Yes.  Ten years ago, no.  Why is that?  Quite simply, the strength of our currency.  Rates at top lodges were set with the US market in mind ten to fifteen years ago when the US dollar had twice the buying power.  At that time this country was more...

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I Want to go to Milford Sound!

I Want to go to Milford Sound!

How many times have all of us travel professionals heard that statement?!  The internet - which we love as without it we would not have our business or lifestyle - perpetuates and emphasizes those places to which most people go.  By letting the internet dictate your travel plans, you...

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Giving Back

Giving Back

Something I forgot to mention in last month's article about ethics was the fact that I have been asked to join the board of Odyssey Travel and have accepted.  Very important to me was that this is a not-for-profit organisation which is committed to directly helping financially disadvantaged...

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Wot I've Done!

Wot I've Done!

It's not normal in New Zealand to skite (boast) about what you have done.  Our legends are typically understated.  And that's a way of being which sits comfortably with me.  But then I read the marketing blurb put about by some people trying to invade our space as New Zealand's...

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What is a Powhiri?

What is a Powhiri?

Almost all of our high-end clients receive a Maori welcome at some point in their trip around New Zealand.  And almost all of them have no idea before they come here what it entails.  And again, almost all of them point to it as one of the highlights of their time in New Zealand....

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