Explore Group managing director William Goodfellow says the acquisition will provide the company with the scale to develop its Bay of Islands tourism offering. He says Explore’s cruise experiences in the Bay of Islands throughout its peak summer season this year were busier than expected, and it continues to run weekend and long holiday weekend services throughout winter.
‘With locals exploring their own back yard, there is a renewed love for New Zealand coming through. Overseas visitors from Australia and further afield are showing a huge willingness to travel when border restrictions ease further and New Zealand is going to be an even more in-demand destination.’
Goodfellow says with New Zealand’s traditional reliance on international tourism it remains a challenging time for all operators. However Explore has seen the Covid environment as an opportunity to focus on a significant growth phase.
Explore Group’s plans will also see the expansion of its fleet and experiences in Auckland, including a number of new cruise experiences, as well as in Hamilton Island in Queensland, Australia.
Fullers Great Sights will continue to operate under the Fullers Great Sights brand. However, administration of the operation will be centralised as part of the Explore Group.