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Tour company encourages near, not far, exploration

As New Zealand becomes the first country to resume unconstrained domestic travel post-lockdown and tourism restarts, Trafalgar is leading into the new future of travel where people are seeking more meaningful experiences that benefit both the visited and the visitor.

“After a period of re-imagination into a new world where conscious thought and action is driving purchasing decisions, we’ve listened to New Zealand travellers directly, through their travel agents and via social media” says Trafalgar’s general manager Scott Cleaver.

“We got a very strong sense of what is important to today’s traveller, and the overwhelming sentiment that it needs to be with all due respect to the local way of life and support of small business in New Zealand’s regional communities”.

A study completed by Angus & Associates last month indicated that 90 per cent of New Zealanders are keen to travel In New Zealand in the coming months, and Trafalgar’s own guest study found that 39 per cent of people who were booked to travel overseas in 2020 might instead choose to travel within New Zealand.

Even the most well-travelled Kiwis are looking to Trafalgar to reveal the most unique local characters and new-to-tourism experiences that challenge their perceptions of their own back yard, and give back to the people working in visited communities.

“Feedback we’ve received is that home-grown experiences are the future of travel globally and is something we’ve focused on for more than a decade with Trafalgar’s industry-leading Be My Guest programme," says Scott.

“It’s these culturally immersive, genuine local experiences that New Zealanders want to uncover in this revival of travel, and the foundation for how we’ve built a new limited series of guided holidays for Kiwis, by Kiwis”.

Based on feedback from Kiwi travelers, and the needs of our local communities, Trafalgar curated their new Near Not Far Limited Series of guided holidays as a restart of travel with a focus on an introduction to homegrown heroes such as Laura Douglas in Kingston, near Queenstown.

Laura gave up corporate life to return to the lakes district farmland where she has built her business around rescuing animals and sharing her love for farming with others. Trafalgar guests will be treated to a discovery experience of sheep mustering and whip-cracking with Laura on Trafalgar’s new seven- day Southern Stories itinerary from Christchurch through Dunedin and Southland.

Another itinerary, Trafalgar’s new seven-day Winterless North, is not only unique in supporting beyond the typical tourist pathways from Auckland through Hokianga, Doubtless Bay and the Bay of Islands, but works with small local businesses and those that are new-to-tourism. For example, at New Zealand’s only coffee growing project, guests will be surprised and delighted with an exclusive coffee experience from seed to cup. On a different excursion, a behind the scenes look at pottery from local clay to large scale creative projects is a true demonstration of kiwi innovation.

Alongside sister brands Insight Vacations, Contiki and AAT Kings, Trafalgar last month announced newly enhanced COVID-19 related protocols, such as smaller group sizes and additional sanitisation procedures.

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