Tauranga’s transport and tour business, Mount Classic Tours, has adapted to the challenges of a COVID-19 world by using its transport services for school sports teams, community clubs and retirement home residents – instead of cruise.
As a ‘thank you’ to the community that has supported the cruise tour business for 20 years, Chamber Member Mount Classic Tours has offered free, guided and chauffeured transport for 62 selected ‘good causes’ since July 2020.
Managing Director and founder Ian Holroyd says, “We donated $39,500 in free transport to 2,162 Bay of Plenty locals who we thought would appreciate experiencing our transport services to get out and about to see our region again, especially after the long period of COVID-19 lockdown and limitations on travel.
“Whether it was a short, local trip or further away for retirement villages, social clubs, care homes and Probus groups, we were happy to offer this service for our community.”
After COVID-19 forced New Zealand’s borders shut and the country into nationwide lockdown, the cruise tour business’ 30 drivers could not work but were kept employed by the business through the Government’s wage subsidy.
“Our great team of drivers gave back the hours they were paid with the wage subsidy when we had no work for them. They offered to drive the vehicles for these groups without additional pay, and the business covered the vehicle running costs,” says Ian.
“This speaks to the character of my team and I’m proud of the challenges we’ve overcome.”
Prior to the border closures caused by COVID-19, Mount Classic Tours focused on cruise ship shore excursions offered across ports in New Zealand and Australia through its Shore Trips & Tours business.
Ian “pivoted” to the domestic market by purchasing domestic group travel business Hinterland Tours in July 2020. Hinterland Tours offers special discounts to Bay of Plenty locals to encourage them to “explore our beautiful country”.
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Ian was the face of our Together, We’ve Got This campaign, to shine a light on Chamber Members who, in partnership with the Chamber, have succeeded to grow and connect their business.
- Content supplied by Tourism Bay of Plenty.