Customer Spotlight – Polynesian Spa

Rotorua Polynesian Spa
Polynesian Spa Rotorua Gert Taljaard

Now that the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted in New Zealand, we caught up with CEO of Polynesian Spa in Rotorua, Gert Taljaard. While Polynesian Spa was fully closed under lock down levels 3 and 4, they are now operating and looking forward to rebuilding.

How did the lock down go for you? Were there a lot of adjustments to make?

With Polynesian Spa being a location-based business, the biggest adjustment during lock down was trying to connect with team members and that was challenging at first. Having challenging conversations in the remote world isn’t always that pleasant either. We did take advantage of the virtual world and kept the business going through level 3 & 4. We really took this time to analyse the business and ways we could sustain ourselves; we were thrilled when we were able to open again in level 2!

What were your thoughts leading into lock down and how are you feeling now it’s over?

Going into lock down I had concerns about what the business would look like, including concerns about the lack of government understanding for what could happen to the tourism industry. I was concerned for the team and the decisions the business might have to make. 

Coming out of lock down, my team and I have remained positive. Being able to engage again with day to day activities is great for the wellbeing of our team. The team and I will use our talents, insights and energy to get the business back on its feet again in no time. There will be a huge learning curve for us however, we’ll take the initiative and charge forward into this new normal and adapt to the current market. 

What did you miss about your workplace?

I missed the team, we are really one big family.  As soon as we were allowed, we had a catch up in person to run over operations and how everything would work once the doors reopened. It was just so good to see them and speak to everyone. I had been catching up with the executive team twice a week via Zoom so it was good to see those I hadn’t spoken to as well.

How are you now catering to the domestic market?

I’m proud of Polynesian Spa’s heritage and value with Kiwi’s. As a household name, we have always had fantastic domestic support over the last 50 years. I don’t feel there is a huge need to pivot our marketing strategies too drastically. We are looking at engaging locals even more and creating some offers but we don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

Check out the Polynesian Spa website to see some deals they are running to help domestic travel get moving.

Rotorua Polynesian Spa Pools

Adventure Tourism Operator, Experience Co., Inks Cross-Tasman Deal with IBIS Technology

NZONE Skydive New Zealand

Experience Co. is New Zealand and Australia’s leading Skydive operator with three skydiving businesses in NZ’s Southern Lakes region, including the world renowned NZONE Skydive, Skydive Southern Alps and Skydive Wanaka. The company also offers tandem skydiving in 13 locations in Australia and several marine based operations in Far North Queensland.   

John O’Sullivan, CEO of publicly-traded Experience Co seeks to ensure the company emerges from COVID-19 stronger than ever. “Now is the time to reconsider how we are operating our businesses to both streamline operations and improve the holistic experience of the customer with our brands,” he said.

“After a thorough review of tourism business operations systems available in our markets, we chose IBIS because of its integrated ‘whole business’ functionality and 22 years of committed customer support. The IBIS team has deep knowledge of the skydiving and tourism industry and they’re very passionate about that. I look forward to working together as partners with IBIS to help us rebuild NZ and Australian adventure tourism in a way that strengthens both our business and the customer experience.”

Founder and CTO of IBIS Erik Bradshaw commented, “We’re excited about the opportunity to work with the brilliant team at Experience Co., both here in NZ and as one of Australia’s largest tourism businesses.”

Bradshaw continued, “IT systems are a mission-critical part of our customers’ success. Recognising this, IBIS has taken a financially conservative approach to managing our own business so that we can be a solid partner to Experience Co. and other customers in these challenging times. Coming out of the COVID-19 crisis, our goal is to provide tourism and leisure operators the flexibility and tools to respond nimbly to changes in market conditions, from unexpected downturns to re-thinking pricing, scheduling, product offerings and partners.”

Experience Co. will implement IBIS systems this winter, giving staff time to ‘settle in’ before the tourism visitor numbers begin to climb to their new normal.

IBIS Technology has been designing tourism business management solutions for the New Zealand tourism industry since 1998. Fully NZ-owned and operated, the company has grown from its early start in reservations software to offering an integrated platform for online and direct reservations, admissions, point-of-sale, e-commerce, accounts management and reporting for tourism and leisure businesses large and small. As the leading tourism business management software company in New Zealand, IBIS focuses on partnering with its clients to ensure that its software and services add value, improving both business and customer experience results.

Experience Co. is an adventure tourism company founded in 1999 in Wollongong, New South Wales, with the vision of now becoming the largest and most respected adventure tourism company in the world. In Australia, Experience Co. owns and operates Skydive Australia along with several marine and tour businesses operating in Far North Queensland, while in New Zealand they run NZONE Skydive, Skydive Wanaka and Skydive Southern Alps.

Skydive Australia - St Kilda