While Shotover Canyon Swing has been fully closed under lockdown levels 3 and 4, they are optimistic about what the future holds and how they can adjust to the changing tourism industry; starting with ways to target the domestic market.
We chatted to Dalice McGregor, Marketing Manager at Shotover Canyon Swing in Queenstown, about how things are going and what their plans are as the country looks to move into level 2 and then 1.
How has the lockdown been for you? Did you have to make a lot of adjustments?
When the borders closed before lockdown, we decided to close the business as the domestic market has typically been very small for us. It meant we had a few extra days up our sleeve before level 4 kicked in to sort out our offices from home, taking home desks and chairs and sorting out VPN and email access. It also meant our Frontline and Operational teams were packed away and ready for shutdown and all staff were a little more prepared to change their expectations for the future.
What priorities are you focusing on right now for the business?
The main focus right now is getting community support and spreading positivity. This has also been a really good time to dive into business processes and systems. Looking at how we can cut costs and work more efficiently through adjusting these; for example, figuring out if there is a more efficient way to use systems such as IBIS to speed up reservations, admin or accounts and making sure our office is paperless.
These process reviews are something that we have always put off because we have been so busy operating and now that we’ve been forced to step back and think about it all it’s great. The operations team have also been updating safety management systems and we’ve been doing some IT updates.
Your latest initiative to reward some “good buggers” is awesome. Can you tell us about it and the reasons behind it?
We are giving away $100,000 worth of Canyon Swings to some “good buggers” around Queenstown and have set up a site for locals to nominate someone and vote on their favourite. We know there have been a lot of people working hard as essential workers or have lost their job completely so firstly we wanted to spread some love in the community and hopefully create some advocates along the way. Another aim is to let the community know that we’re still here and won’t be closing down, while getting our brand out there at the same time. We’ll be doing everything we can to operate when it is safe and legal to do so. Check out the Good Buggers website here.
How did the past summer go for you, prior to lockdown?
Thankfully, we did have a good summer leading into lockdown, although we saw a shift in consumer behaviour in product uptake such as more people doing tandem swings. Fortunately, we weren’t affected operationally by the rains and floods that affected others and we did benefit from some of these other weather dependent activities being cancelled such as skydiving; they came to us for their adrenaline hit!
What options are you looking at to appeal to the domestic market?
In the past, we haven’t really tried to market to the New Zealand market, but we think our Kiwi humour and our style of service has always appealed to New Zealanders. Our plan is to play to these strengths and have a think about our pricing strategy for locals and domestic travellers.
What is your favourite restaurant or café that you missed?
Coffee from Mrs Ferg for sure, so glad they are open again!
Check out the Shotover Canyon Swing website to read some of their Kiwi humour, learn about the different levels of jump styles and the history of the two Kiwi blokes who liked jumping of cliffs and had a vision to create ‘not your average backyard variety’ experience.