Queenstown’s long-time Canyon Swing general manager last week leapt into a new role at AJ Hackett Bungy NZ.
Matt Hollyer, who also steps down next month as chairman of Destination Queenstown, says it’s been “a pretty amazing experience” running Canyon Swing for 14 years, “but I didn’t want to turn into the grumpy old bastard in the corner”.
Highlights have included an NZ Tourism Industry Asso-ciation adventure category award in 2008, two ‘humour in business’ supreme awards, and overseeing the launch of its Canyon Fox attraction, which was a five-year exercise.
Hollyer says when judges for earlier tourism awards found they didn’t have a business plan, they decided, because people kept saying the company had a good vibe, to define ‘vibe’ as ‘vitality, innovation, being safe and excellence’.
It grew from “basically being a bullshit call to a bit of science.”
Hollyer’s new AJ Hackett role is ‘innovations and project manager’, while his old role’s been taken by former Ziptrek Ecotours GM Stu Cordelle.
Hollyer’s also been on the DQ board for six years and chairman for the past four-and-a-half. He’s happy that the tourism promotion body recently had a $900,000 funding increase approved, especially with the industry facing tougher times.
Having been in town since the mid-’90s, when he became the last person ever employed by the former Mount Cook Line, he’s seen tourism come and go, “so you can’t stop shouting out about the place”.