Sustainable approach to business delivers gold

There is a growing trend internationally towards sustainable travel with tourists mindful of their environmental footprint – and with an estimated 1.235 billion people travelling every year it is a sizable footprint.

Auckland-based Adventure Capital is providing tourists to New Zealand with options to be more environmentally friendly on their journeys, and has been awarded a Qualmark Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award for its efforts.

Adventure Capital runs guided bike tours in Auckland and Wellington, and also hires out mountain bikes, e-bikes, and camping and tramping equipment in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown. Along with partner Thrifty Car Rentals, travellers can opt for a package deal including a car and camping hire, or 4x4 vehicle and mountain bike hire.

“No one had thought of urban guided bike tours and shorter duration rides before us, and we’ve shown there is demand for it. Receiving the Qualmark Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award has been fantastic. It recognises our focus and efforts in being active in a sustainable area and shows operators that you can be more environmentally aware if you put steps in place,” says Jacqui Wilkinson, Director of Adventure Capital.

“We spend a lot of time travelling around New Zealand for Adventure Capital and other tours.  If we need to fly we’ll choose Air New Zealand and take advantage of its carbon offset programme, and use an e-bike at our destination instead of cars, and we source bikes and products that will be kind on the environment.”  

From Qualmark’s perspective the company’s ability to ‘walk the talk’ and excellent sustainable practices has provided a best practice model for environmental and economic sustainability in the tourism sector.  As Jacqui says, sustainability covers the whole business – from environmental concerns, to economic viability, and employment.

“While our Auckland business doesn’t have too many seasonal issues, in other parts of the country the weather plays a big role. This seasonality factors into our hiring of contractors during the busy months.  As a tour operator you need to be brave, see opportunities, do your research and position yourself in the right place.  We did this with the bike tours and have also adopted the same model in our other Qualmark Gold certified business, Fine Art Tours New Zealand, that caters for travellers and business visitors who want to experience New Zealand that doesn’t involve adrenalin activities,” says Jacqui.  

“Having both businesses Qualmark Gold certified provides us with kudos within the industry, and we are continuing to strive to improve our sustainable practices, and inspire others.”

Jacqui Wilkinson, Director of Adventure Capital