A family business started by Chris and Sue Jolly in 1980, Chris Jolly Outdoors has grown from a single man boating operation to one of the most successful tourism operations in the region, offering guided tours in the outdoors and private boat charters.
In 2017, their son Simon Jolly took over the helm with wife Katie, with a key focus on making the Taupo¬ç district the ultimate outdoor destination complimented with a desire to have more authentic and cultural offerings.
An amazing opportunity presented itself earlier this year when the Central North Island’s Iwi – Nga¬Åti Tuwharetoa and Chris Jolly Outdoors decided to join together to grow the tourism industry in the region. The Iwi’s new business partnership follows the purchase of the iconic Lake Taupo¬ç Hole in One Challenge in November 2017 and the recent investment with Ruapehu Alpine Lifts – Sky Waka, New Zealand’s most technically advanced gondola on Mt Ruapehu.
Blanketed by a stunning backyard that lends itself to the rich cultural heritage of Nga¬Åti Tuwharetoa, Chris Jolly Outdoors boasts an array of offerings from scenic cruises on Lake Taupo¬ç to private charters, functions and hunting and fishing trips with some of the regions most experienced guides and employs around 25 staff in the summer and 25 contractors throughout the year.
This partnership comes at a time when the regions tourism is showing significant growth year on year and more recently came out on top as the highest performing region based on the MBIE regional statistics for May 2019. Total visitor expenditure for the region is up 8 per cent to $679m – compared with national growth of 4 per cent.
"This highlights a momentous occasion for the Iwi, as we partner up with an operator on one of our biggest assets – Lake Taupo¬ç," says Taupo¬ç Moana Group Holdings Ltd chairman Tiwana Tibble, the commercial arm of Nga¬Åti Tuwharetoa.
"The possibilities are endless and we are excited about what the future holds for the iwi and it’s people."
Tourism is the county’s largest export earner, superseding the primary industries. The potential for the Taupo region to expand offerings in Maori attractions, whilst growing the activities already on offer through Chris Jolly Outdoors is an exciting future for the entire community.
"Our team are very excited to be partnering with the Tuwharetoa to create a long-term future for Maori tourism in the district and continuing to grow Chris Jolly Outdoors product offerings," says Simon.
"As major providers of activities in the outdoors, we also value our role as kaitiakitanga (guardians) of the Lake and land. Our union with local iwi, will enable us to give back to these resources so that generations to come will still be able to enjoy them".