Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Queenstown-based tourism operators collaborate to survive COVID-19

Queenstown-based tourism operators collaborate to survive COVID-19
April 30, 2020

Two Queenstown-based tourism operators, Totally Tourism and Altitude Tours/Black ZQN, have joined forces in a bid to ensure the industry will survive COVID-19.

Totally Tourism founder, Mark Quickfall and Altitude Tours and Black ZQN director, Nigel Hobbs are optimistic the region will be reinvigorated in the future and domestic tourism will ramp up as the threat of the Coronavirus subsides.

New Zealanders spend $23.7 billion a year on domestic tourism and the Queenstown Lakes District is well-placed to welcome Kiwis needing a holiday once the country is de-escalated to Level One on the COVID-19 alert system.

Quickfall says although the Coronavirus has presented extraordinary challenges for Queenstown, the tourism industry is resilient and many operators are coming up with creative ways to implement health and physical distancing measures to ensure the ongoing safety of visitors and the survival of local tourism businesses.

Quickfall adds “Queenstown and tourism is certainly not out for the count and many companies here are planning to reset and tailor offerings specifically to the Kiwi market.

“Tourism has been the backbone of Queenstown and New Zealand for many decades and, whilst this current crisis seems insurmountable, we have been here before; the 1987 share market crash, 1997 Asian financial crisis, 9/11, SARs and the Global Financial Crisis. All of these events challenged the town but we bounced back.”

Both Totally Tourism and Altitude Tours/Black ZQN will be investing in domestic marketing campaigns later this year to entice Kiwis to Queenstown once restrictions on recreational travel have lifted.  

Hobbs notes “COVID-19 has been a major setback for us but I’m confident that we will come out of it better and stronger.

“Kiwis love to explore – as a nation we spent approximately $6.5 billion on international travel last year. Now that overseas holidays are off the cards for the time being, I think Queenstown will see an influx of domestic tourists wanting a world-class experience in their own backyard.”

New Zealanders can expect to benefit from heavily discounted rates on accommodation, activities and tours as a sweetener to visit areas such as Queenstown, Wanaka, Mount Cook, West Coast and Fiordland.

Totally Tourism’s The Helicopter Line operates scenic helicopter flights in Queenstown, Mount Cook, and at Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, heli-skiing, heli-hikes, Milford Sound Scenic Flights and Mitre Peak Cruises, while Altitude Tours and Black ZQN specialise in bespoke sightseeing tours, private charters and luxury experiences in the lower South Island.

“Our ambition is to reward New Zealanders when they come out of their bubbles with specials and incentives and give them an opportunity to experience heli-hiking on the Tasman Glacier, or land on the Franz Josef Glacier or cruise Milford Sound,” adds Quickfall. “Kiwi families that may have traditionally booked a trip to the Gold Coast will now choose to head south and this is a very heartening prospect.”

Hobbs also highlights “we are all working incredibly hard to hold on to jobs and ensure our operations get through COVID-19. What we are seeing so far from the NZ public is that there is a strong feeling of solidarity and a desire to support our country and get it moving again. When it does, we’ll be here.”

For more information on Totally Tourism go to

For more information on Black ZQN go to 

For more information on Altitude Tours go to 

Image top:Totally Tourism - Challenge Rafting on the Shotover River. Credit: Andy Woods; images centre of Black Lindis South Island Exploring and Totally Tourism Glacier Helicopter tours; image above of Mark Quickfall (left) and Nigel Hobbs.

Related Articles

27th April 2020 - New Zealand Sports Minister advises of permissible activities under eased Coronavirus Alert

21st April 2020 - New Zealand Government looks to ease Coronavirus restrictions

23rd April 2020 - WTTC calls on G20 leaders to coordinate recovery for the tourism industry

17th April 2020 - Tourism thought leaders consider the impact of COVID-19

17th April 2020 - WTTC commends global tourism industry for helping during COVID-19

16th April 2020 - Tourism recovery vital for economies of Asia Pacific nations

27th March 2020 - Go with Tourism to provide free support service for New Zealand tourism workers and businesses

19th March 2020 - Tourism Industry Aotearoa shares concerns over business closures and job losses

18th March 2020 - Tourism Industry Aotearoa welcomes Government support but advises jobs still threatened

15th March 2020 - Coronavirus travel restrictions to impact New Zealand tourism and sport

29th February 2020 - Bay of Plenty tourism industry works to mitigate impact of visitor downturn following White Island eruption

25th November 2019 - Queenstown tourism operator celebrates 30th Anniversary

4th March 2019 - International adventure tourism experts to converge on Queenstown

19th October 2016 - Queenstown named Australasia’s leading destination

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


Technogym is the leading company in the Wellness and Fitness field all over the world. With 2,200 employees, 14 branches in Europe, U.S., South America, Asia  and Australia, Technogym exports its…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


Otium Planning Group

Otium Planning Group is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy providing services in planning, facility development, management and funding for the sport, recreation and leisure industries…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues


Smart Connection Consultancy

Smart Connection Consultancy is a boutique sport and recreation consultancy who has become one of Australia’s leading advocates for the use of synthetic sports surfaces as a vehicle to grow…

read more

Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces



About Priava's Technology -  Priava is a cloud-based and centralised venue and event management system aimed at venues of all sizes. With its familiar and easy-to-use web interface, the…

read more

Attractions / Billing / Entertainment / Events / Technology


The Pool Enclosure Company

Welcome to The Pool Enclosure Company (TPEC). We provide a large range of premium commercial and residential retractable swimming pool, spa and terrace enclosures throughout Australia, servicing…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Recreation / Venues



Digonex is a leading provider of customised dynamic pricing solutions to clients in arts and entertainment, sport, attractions, cultural institutions and retail sectors. Digonex’s technology is…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing



A leading designer and manufacturer of innovative waterslides and attractions, Australian Waterslides and Leisure (AWL) is also able to advise clients in the areas of concept and design, feasibility…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business