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High-End Experiential Travel in New Zealand

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It's Official - I'm not a Hobbit

It's Official - I'm not a Hobbit

We made the Conde Nast Traveler 'top travel specialist' list this year.  Like the A-List, there are only 130-odd agencies worldwide on this one.  So, after 10 years of hard work and satisfied clients it looks like we may have "arrived".  The National Business Review...

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Getting it Right

Getting it Right

I was away for the last ten days taking a high-profile journalist around the country and exploring some themes in more depth than is usual.  The identity of the journalist and publication has to remain secret for the moment - until the article is published - but some of the places and themes...

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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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