QUEENSTOWN, NZ., – November 7, 2023
In an amphitheater normally home to sheep shearing demonstrations, a sheepdog delivered the supreme award winner’s announcement envelope, and speeches were punctuated by sheep "baa-ing" in the surrounding fields. The iconic Walter Peak High Country Farm on the shores of Lake Wakatipu created a distinctively ‘kiwi’ (New Zealand) atmosphere for the black-tie awards evening on Saturday night.
As winner of the Excellence in People & Capability award and a finalist in Excellence in Strategy & Business Solutions, Active Adventures was judged to be the ultimate winner for 2023 — Supreme Business of the Year — at the Queenstown Business Chamber of Commerce 2023 Queenstown Business Awards.
“Queenstown is where Active Adventures started and our global HQ, and we are immensely honored to receive this award among our friends and business community who have been our supporters and cheerleaders,” says Wendy van Lieshout, CEO at Active Adventures.
“I truly believe our people give us our edge. These awards are testimony to our incredibly dedicated global team of 140 office staff and guides, who deliver more than 80 trips in 6 continents and 22 countries, through our Active Adventures and Austin Adventures brands. Our people are adventurers themselves and genuinely live and breathe our ‘DNA’ (our values) that steer how we work together to enable us to create distinctive and inspiring small group outdoors active adventures for our guests.”
“Queenstown has only 29,000 permanent residents yet attracts more than 1 million international tourists a year and is arguably the adventure tourism capital of the world! So, being an adventure tourism business ourselves, then judged to be the cream of the crop among our peers is very humbling.”
Judges commented Active Adventures is an “impressive operation...exceeding industry norms significantly, leaving their guests beyond satisfied. [They are] a global business yet take care of every customer individually and personally ensuring that all guests feel their love."
Wendy van Lieshout says of her team, “We have all worked extremely hard these last few years, considering the impact of closed borders and Covid’s impact on tourism. But our team has risen to the challenge and adapted to every curve ball to put us into an even stronger position in the international market, and I’m super proud of them.”
Achievements within the last two years that contributed to the judges’ decisions include:
2023 Queenstown Business Awards for Active Adventures:
– Winner, Supreme award for Business of the Year, 2023
– Winner, Excellence in People & Capability
– Finalist, Excellence in Strategy & Business Solutions.
This follows success at the same awards in 2021: (winners of Excellence in Strategy & Planning) and 2018 (winners of the then-tourism category).
With over 60 years of combined experience, Active Adventures and Austin Adventures set the standard for inspiring, all-inclusive, small-group adventures in the most breathtaking regions of the world. Their teams across New Zealand, North America, Peru, Nepal and the Netherlands ensure every detail is looked after. Hand-picked guides with a wealth of experience and local knowledge lead the way as guests enjoy exclusive accommodations, top-notch dining and unique activities showcasing the best of each region.
Each of their 80+ trips are crafted to perfection, encouraging guests to not only challenge themselves physically, but also to take a deep dive in the local way of life in every destination. For more information, please visit activeadventures.com and austinadventures.com.
Brand and Communications Lead, Active Adventures & Austin Adventures
+64 27 254 6039
Wendy van Lieshout
Active Adventures & Austin Adventures
+64 21 243 5412