A well-established Queenstown tour operator is taking a new direction in response to changes in overseas markets and dynamics.
Alpine Luxury Tours, based in Queenstown, is a family-owned and operated business with family connections to Queenstown and the wider Otago region dating back nearly 60 years.
Founder Lee Saunders has a passion for showing people the New Zealand he knows and loves, and that’s evident to all who meet him.
Having grown up in and around Queenstown, he knows the region like the back of his hand, and prides himself on enabling his guests to experience the best of New Zealand in the most private way.
“We have always been about authentic, exclusive experiences thanks to the key relationships we’ve built up over the years,” he says.
“Because of our local connections we have exclusive access to areas where no other companies set foot. If a guest wants to exclusively book out a popular local restaurant, or visit somewhere and not see another soul, then we’re the ones to make it happen.
“We’re seeing an increase in the FIT premium visitor market which doesn’t show any signs of slowing down soon, so we’ve re-branded as Alpine Luxury Tours to focus on the key emerging markets of South East Asia and to cater for Western market growth.”
Mr Saunders says New Zealand now has a high standard of suppliers and partners enabling his company to work consistently at the premium end of the market, a far cry from stale, repetitive itineraries.
“Thanks to these partners we can attract business to superb exclusive locations and know that they will have a consistently outstanding experience at every level.”
The business started operating in 2011 and Lee says growth has been “very rapid”.
“It’s hard work but very rewarding, and working with long-term guides who also have great relationships and inside knowledge means we can customise any adventure at a moment’s notice, and often do!”
Alpine Luxury Tours specialises in privately-guided day experiences for sightseeing, private wine experiences, and hiking or heli-hiking and heli-experiences to some of the most unique, stunning and exclusive parts of Queenstown, Fiordland and Mount Cook National Park.