VisitorPoint commits to the Living Wage

VisitorPoint commits to the Living Wage

New Zealand brochure distribution company VisitorPoint commits to the Living Wage.

As of July 1 all VisitorPoint staff are now entitled to an hourly rate minimum of $21.15, considerably more than the minimum wage of $17.70.

General manager Jenni Powell says the welcome change is part of the company’s pledge to Tourism Industry Aotearoa’s (TIA) sustainability commitment goals which includes employment.

“We have an extremely loyal and committed workforce which we appreciate immensely,” she says.

“As a company we genuinely believe our staff deserve this commitment from us as they are our most important asset, and we’re excited to be able to support them in this way.

All future employees will also be entitled to the new wage.

VisitorPoint has decided to forge ahead in driving social change for its 28-strong staff.

“As tourism businesses continue to grow throughout the country, we do too. From a financial and moral standpoint this is the right choice for us to make.”

VisitorPoint is New Zealand’s only national distributor of tourism information, having distributed brochures throughout New Zealand for more than 30 years.

It operates three warehouses in Christchurch, Auckland and Queenstown equipped with full teams of warehouse staff working in tandem with 19 merchandisers, as well as sales and marketing and senior management teams.

VisitorPoint’s move to a Living Wage for staff aligns with its commitment to TIA’s sustainable tourism promise.

One of TIA’s goals is for businesses to pay a fair wage to all staff, which aligns with VisitorPoint’s existing efforts in offsetting carbon emissions from all flights, the introduction of live online reporting for its clients and supporting print companies which share its sustainable print visions.

“We’re trying hard to make changes which improve our business while taking sustainability into consideration; it’s all part of a journey for us,” says Jenni.

VisitorPoint currently distributes over 3,500 brochure titles from New Zealand tourism operators the length and breadth of the country. It has over 2000 physical display outlets nationally and operates 38 distribution circuits.

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Progressive Dinner Tours launch in Queenstown

Progressive Dinner Tours launch in Queenstown

The region’s first ever Progressive Dinner Tour is about to hit Queenstown, hosted by renowned operators Alpine Wine Tours.

As of mid-July, guests can explore the very best of Queenstown’s renowned wineries, micro-breweries and restaurants in just one evening, on the ultimate Progressive Dinner Tour.

Owner-operator Emma Chisholm says she saw a gap in the market for night-time activities and jumped at the opportunity to launch something a little different.

“Evening activity options are few and far between in Queenstown, but the Progressive Dinner Tour fills that void and gives people a chance to go on an incredible night-time journey where they can relax, meet new friends and experience the very best food, wine and craft beer the region has to offer,” she says.

“Especially if they are short on time, people can fill their days with activities and then spend a stress-free evening wining and dining. All they need to do is book and turn up, we take care of the rest.”

The Tours visit three iconic locations, including the picturesque Shotover River, the Valley of Vines – Gibbston Valley – and historic Arrowtown. Tours start and end in vibrant central Queenstown, meaning guests can start their evening in town early before pick up, or extend into the night following drop off.

Guests travel comfortably in a luxurious Mercedes Sprinter driven by a knowledgeable local host.

Alpine Wine Tours is family-owned and operated by Emma and director Lee Saunders. With family connections to Queenstown and the wider Otago region dating back nearly 60 years, the pair’s combined local knowledge and family heritage means they offer guests a genuinely authentic kiwi hospitality experience in ‘their own’ backyard.

Emma says dinner tours are hugely popular around the world, where they are sometimes known as Safari Suppers.

“They were the thing to do in the UK during the 1950s and 60s, then made a bit of a comeback when dinner parties became all the vogue again and thanks to the rise of TV show ‘Come Dine With Me’,” says Emma.

On the Queenstown Progressive Dinner Tours, courses are expertly matched with multiple glasses of renowned Central Otago wine, locally brewed craft beer and a cheeky after-dinner nightcap.

All Alpine Wine Tours group experiences are adults only, and the Progressive Dinner Tour is no exception.

The tours leave the centre of Queenstown at 6.45pm daily and guests are dropped back into town at 10.15pm, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the resort’s night life.

Prices are $249 per person all-inclusive and pre-bookings are required.

For further information or to book go to www.alpinewinetours.co.nz

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Five Mile welcomes new businesses

Five Mile’s family is growing

From a new bar, to shared working spaces, and a cafe/restaurant – Five Mile Business and Retail Centre welcomes a range of awesome businesses to the precinct this year.

Their new Craigs Investment Building at the far end of Five Mile Place will be home to a diverse crew of familiar and new-to-town businesses.

Fresh faces officially opening their doors in early August include Mountain Club co-founders Jason Wilby and Chris Davern.

Mountain Club is a collaborative office space perched on the third floor of the new building. Think sun deck, boutique office spaces, high-tech design and 280-degree views of surrounding mountains.

The business duo expects to build a community of around 100 businesses, entrepreneurs and creatives, channelling ‘boutique hotel’ vibes with its furnishing style rather than a traditional office.

“It feels like Queenstown is on the cusp of a major transition from a solely tourism-based economy to one that can offer highly skilled roles in design, technology and services,” Jason says.

“Queenstown attracts some brilliant talent and we’re going to provide them with a truly beautiful space to work from.”

Mountain Club welcomes everyone from local community members to entrepreneurs and business travellers.

Memberships will include unique perks such as Supreme coffee roasted in Wellington, local craft beers and community nights, plus all the usuals like fibre-powered wifi and unlimited printing.

But wait, there’s more … welcome to the family…

New standalone pub –  Queenstown hospitality entrepreneur Pete Jefford is opening up a pub mid 2020 – details are yet to come but expect lots of brick and reclaimed timber, a garden bar pavilion, and an all-weather kids’ play zone.

Joe’s Garage Cafe – doors will swing open on Joe’s 13th location in time for spring and summer. Ground floor space, plenty of outdoor seating and a big open fire with The Remarkables as a backdrop. Can’t wait.

AR & Associates – located on level three and opening this month the boutique multi-disciplinary consultancy provides specialist inputs across planning, project management, civil and environmental engineering.

Focus Technology Group – IT and software company – expected to open late August on level two of the Craigs building.

Ace Car Rental – setting up shop on land behind the Five Mile Centre close to the Queenstown Airport, scheduled to open early November.

For more info visit www.fivemilecentre.co.nz

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Queenstown tourism giant Go Orange supports kiwi social enterprise

A growing social enterprise founded four years ago by a young entrepreneur has been given a huge boost thanks to one of New Zealand’s top tourism companies.

Adventure tourism company Go Orange has gifted two buses to kiwi social enterprise Got To Get Out, which is on a mission to get people active and outdoors, on free hikes and bike trips organised by founder Rob Bruce.

The trips have become so popular that Rob now works full-time on Got To Get Out, driving the length and breadth of New Zealand transporting people to and from their events.

And now thanks to Go Orange it will have two South Island-based vehicles to help decrease transport costs and time, enabling Rob to increase the social impact of got To Get Out on the community.

Go Orange General Manager Luke Taylor was inspired to donate two former rafting buses to Got To Get Out after hearing Rob speak at a backpacker (BYATA) conference last year.

The 20-seater Nissan Civilian buses were officially handed over to Rob in Queenstown today (June 21).

The rafting buses were surplus to requirements as the company has invested in a fleet of purpose-built, all-wheel-drive Unimogs.

“I like the idea of there being a different tourism model in New Zealand,” says Luke.

“There are lots of New Zealanders who don’t feel connected to the environment we live in, so there’s a bit of social good in us donating these vehicles to a good cause for the next part of their lives.

“We’re delighted to support Got To Get Out.”

Go Orange joins outdoor gear store Torpedo7 in supporting the drive to help people get outdoors and enjoy being in nature with new people.

Torpedo7 last year commissioned Got To Get Out to deliver their Torpedo7 Club free experiences around the country.

Rob previously worked for a corporate marketing agency before developing the concept of Got To Get Out while on a hike to Mt Everest base camp.

After reading a quote by Sir Edmund Hillary which says “It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves”, he embraced the concept that different people have their own mountain to climb.

“I decided to use my professional skills to help other New Zealanders conquer their own Mt Everests, and now I’m on this incredible path where a social enterprise helps deliver health and wellbeing to people who may have been feeling lonely or depressed but feel so much better after coming walking, paddle boarding or mountain-biking with us,” says Rob.

“People are coming along more than once because they’ve made friends, they’ve got active and got outside, and it improves their mood and wellbeing. We’re building a genuine community in a sector of society that wasn’t being catered for.

“It was my dream to turn my passion into a full-time job, but that wasn’t quite financially viable until Torpedo7 came on board and we now have the support of Go Orange.

“When Luke called and offered the buses, I just about jumped out of my seat, I was so thrilled and just so grateful.

“Got To Get Out is arranging South Island-based hikes, ski trips, and later in the year mountain bike and paddle board outings in Nelson, Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin, all departing from Torpedo7 stores thanks to this new partnership.

“Up until now I’ve been driving from Auckland to Dunedin, then making the grueling1500km return trip home before repeating. It’s a hectic schedule that involves huge miles, and significant cost in ferry crossings, petrol, road user charges and time.

“The Go Orange buses will decrease those costs and time, and therefore increase our social impact by helping me focus on getting more of the community outdoors, especially in the South Island.”

The Got To Get Out online community has now grown to 15,000 people.

With volunteer help and additional vehicles Rob can now run simultaneous trips in both islands.

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