We're heading back to our roots and becoming even more niche, even more tailored, with even more of a focus on superb exclusive activities.
Like many businesses we hit 2019 after a period of sustained growth. This impacted our business in accommodating this growth while trying very hard to maintain the personal touch and quality which had made our reputation to date. We were largely successful but this put all sorts of strains on us behind the scenes. So in the future we will limit our growth to a level where we can provide quality without stressing systems or people.
Also - we're going back to our philosophy of reinventing the wheel for every client. If exactly what they want does not exist and it's within our power to create it, we will do so. This also means that I (Jean-Michel) will personally design every itinerary, looking for ways to make each one even more excellent. I have also resurrected my various guiding licenses and will be available to guide clients where the fit makes sense for both parties.
We are actively working with a number of elite activity specialists to further enhance our capabilities and launch a new range of in-depth activities around the country. Previously we reacted to client requests in putting together cycling options, for example. In future we will have a number of our favourite cycling days detailed in advance on our website and able to be linked together to provide a true "best of NZ cycling" itinerary.
In addition to an upgraded effort with activities, this new focus means we can be even more clever with regard to accommodation. We've always been fans of "mixing things up" and having our clients in a luxury lodge one night and a tented camp the next - but we're about to take this to another level and greatly increase the type and amount of accommodation available to the private traveller.
And this brings up our last point - private travel is what we're emphasizing. Luxury lodges can be anything but private, which suits a particular type of person, but also leaves another type of person high and dry. In my old guiding days I would often have one billionaire or another tell me the under-the-radar small private property I selected for them was ideal. They also get "white glove fatigue" and really enjoy informal places and mixing things up with locals. And even the normal luxury traveller would often prefer to focus on activities and authenticity rather than luxury for luxury's sake.
So that's it for our next phase - private, connective, authentic, relaxed and fun with very interesting guides and hosts. Yes, it's where we started in 2001, but it's where we're very happy to be going back to.