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Changes at Queenstown Holiday Park & Motels Creeksyde

Changes at Queenstown Holiday Park & Motels Creeksyde

Long time tourism stalwarts Tonnie and Erna Spijkerbosch have put their succession plan in motion with the appointment of Business Manager, Duncan Ridd.

The Spijkerboschs have owned and operated Queenstown Holiday Park and Motels Creeksyde since 1987. It hosts more than 75,000 visitors a year in artful buildings featuring upcycled materials, and throughout campsites spread across one of central Queenstown’s last green spaces. The Spijkerboschs are eager to keep it that way. ‘We are passionate about providing high-quality budget accommodation, particularly for visitors touring in campervans,’ says Mrs Spijkerbosch.

The holiday park has received numerous business and traveller awards over the years, including AA Spirit of Hospitality Award, and EarthCheck’s Platinum Certification for its decade-long commitment to environmentally sustainable tourism.

Mrs Spijkerbosch has held the positions of Holiday Parks Association of New Zealand president and chair of Destination Queenstown, as well as serving as a Queenstown Lakes District councillor. Mr and Mrs Spijkerbosch were also instrumental in establishing the Kiwi Holiday Parks group, and have for the last 15 years been a member of the TOP 10 network. They have, however, withdrawn from TOP 10 as of June 1 in favour of marketing Creeksyde independently.

As the Spijkerbosch’s now wish to step back from day-to-day duties with a timely succession plan in place, Mr Ridd’s role sees him assume general management of Creeksyde and other associated business interests in Queenstown and Central Otago.

His appointment also addresses the increasing complexity of the tourism industry. Like many other independent accommodation providers, holiday parks have evolved over the years from relatively small owner-operator businesses to high-value enterprises. Expanded staff rolls, health and safety regulations, digital technology, the rise of e-commerce, and OTAs (online travel agents) in particular, are amongst the challenges facing operators.

Says Mrs Spijkerbosch, ‘Our industry has undergone a major culture change, and we see this as an opportunity to consolidate our knowledge and continue our commitment to progress. Succession planning is a challenge facing many holiday park owners as they head towards retirement, yet it’s an area of business that’s often neglected while management focuses on more immediate goals.’

Ridd, 40, has more than 15 years experience in hospitality and tourism, including positions at Skyline Queenstown and Millbrook Resort. ‘Not only does this role offer plenty of variety and challenge, it allows me to work for a business that shares my beliefs, in a district to which I’m committed,’ says Mr Ridd. ‘I’m thoroughly enjoying being back in the tourism industry, after a seven year stint in corporate management, working with energetic and positive staff offering a product that makes people smile.’

Mr and Mrs Spijkerbosch plan to relax a bit, seek new opportunities and cooperate in the creation of a summer toboggan run in Naseby, based on Coronet Peak’s Cresta Run from the past. ‘We’re looking forward to more time with the grandchildren, community projects and some freedom camping! We’re not out the door yet,’ says Mrs Spijkerbosch. ‘But we’re aiming for a gradual and well-timed exit. We want to do it right.’

ends

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