About Us

In 2000, we both made a major lifestyle change and have spent the time since then involved in a most interesting number of tourism roles. Prior to that Amanda was Sales and Marketing manager for a printing and publishing company and John was the Associate Principal at Kings High in Dunedin.

Through these various tourism roles, we both gained a wealth of exciting and rewarding experiences in the tourism industry. Having had experience in advising tourism businesses when working for Qualmark New Zealand, we decided to set up our own tourism support operation, Tourism IQ, and have provided support for a considerable number of tourism businesses until Covid arrived.

Our history of tourism experience which shows that we have walked the talk. Some of these experiences include:

  • Running large tourist vessels both in New Zealand and overseas
  • Owning and managing luxury lodges.
  • Guiding and guide training
  • Lecturing in adventure tourism management
  • Qualmark assessors /advisors
  • Business advisor for government funding to a large number of tourism businesses
Free Initial Consultation

Do contact us for a free initial consultation and see if we can meet your needs.

The Tourism IQ Team Story

Amanda and I (John) have had a wonderful series of tourism experiences together. Here are some key experiences we have had together:

  • We worked on various overnight vessels in Fiordland. (Amanda as Team Leader and John as Nature Guide and skipper.)
  • We worked as skipper and crew/chef on the Commodore of the New York Yacht Club's motor yacht for four years, sailing in the Mediterranean, Bahamas, and New England Coast.
  • We served as joint managers at Wilderness Lodge Arthurs Pass, where we gained valuable experience in the tourism industry. This experience inspired us to pursue our dream of running our own lodge.
  • We set up and ran our own luxury lodge on a spacious 5 ha property outside Queenstown, known as Queenstown Country Lodge. However, we decided to sell it in 2016.
  • We are members of three great organizations: Destination Queenstown, Queenstown Chamber of Commerce, and Stewart Island Promotions Association.

John's Experience and Qualifications

I (John) have an extensive background in the tourism industry, having worked in various roles throughout New Zealand. I have a passion for nature and enjoys sharing my knowledge with others. Here are some highlights of my experience:

I worked in management at both Wilderness Lodge Arthurs Pass and Queenstown Country Lodge, gaining valuable knowledge of the accommodation industry.

As a Nature Guide, I worked on the Navigator in Doubtful Sound, a 72-person overnight vessel, as well as on multi-day Discovery Cruises in Fiordland and Stewart Island

My passion for the sea saw me skippering a 10-guest motor sail vessel in Fiordland and later on, skippering/managing a luxury vessel in the Mediterranean, Bahmans and New England for 4 years for an American couple.

I was the Head Nature Guide for Real Journeys, where I was responsible for writing interpretation plans, training guides, and developing products on Stewart Island. I also worked as a Tour Guide for an American tour operator and as a Nature Guide for Ulva's Guiding Service on Stewart Island.

Other experiences included on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice where I served as both a Nature Guide and Guest Lecturer, as a Wine Guide for Appellation Central Wine Tours and as a Nature Guide for New Zealand Nature Walks.

I was a Qualmark Tourism Business Advisor for 12 years, providing advice to tourism operators in the Attraction and Activity field. I moved out of this role to focus on Tourism IQ

I was also the Programme Manager at Queenstown Resort College for the Diploma in Business Management, Adventure Tourism Management Programme and delivered a number of papers in this diploma course including Managing the Visitor Experience, Health and Safety, Sustainability and Visitor Impact Management.

I continue to lecture and guide American Universities on their 3-week Study Abroad Programmes in New Zealand. Most of these programmes have a large Sustainability focus.

John's Qualifications

  • Degrees in Geography and Education
  • National Certificate in Tourism – Excursion Guiding
  • National Certificate in Tourism & Travel Core Skills
  • National Certificate in Adult Education and Training (Level 5) New Zealand Environment
  • Registered Workplace Assessor
  • Commercial Skipper (ILM)
  • Coastguard Coastal Skipper and Ocean Yacht master
  • P and Class 2 Driver’s Licence
  • Workplace 1st Aid

Amanda's Story

Amanda has a strong background in the tourism industry having grown up working in her family's tourism accommodation business on the shores of Lake Rotorua. She has also held management and operational roles at Wilderness Lodge Arthurs Pass, Queenstown Country Lodge, and Real Journeys.

Amanda has a wealth of experience working in various roles on overnight vessels, including managing the 3 overnight vessels in Milford Sound for team leader on the Navigator in Doubtful Sound (a 72-person vessel) and crew/chef on a 10-guest motor sail vessel in Fiordland and on a luxury vessel in the Mediterranean, Bahamas and New England. Her expertise also extends to the accommodation field, where she worked for Tourism New Zealand in the role of a Qualmark Tourism Business Advisor assessing accommodation businesses from Mt Cook south for 13 years. She was also involved in assessing Luxury Lodges by way of experiential stays across New Zealand.

In addition to her work in the tourism industry, Amanda has also been involved in various programs to support businesses over the last few years. The most recent project was when she was contracted to Business South Incorporated to co-manage a team to deliver the Tourism Communities Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan via Regional Business Partners.

Currently she has part time contracts co-ordinating the Young Enterprise Scheme across Otago and markets the Business Mentors New Zealand programme in the Otago region.