What do we mean by 'Slow Travel' New Zealand?

After the onset of Covid-19, international travel will be different. Throughout the globe, the ‘old ways’ of tourism have had a negative impact on nature and social structures. We now have a great opportunity to change and reset.

The ‘new world’ of tourism will introduce a more in-depth and meaningful way to travel. Many years ago, international travellers focused more on learning and experiencing new cultures, ideas and foods.

chef ali at te koi lodge garden

Your local host Ali at Te Koi Lodge in the Nelson-Tasman region.


The old & new ways of tourism

We believe many travellers are wanting a road less travelled, with greater personal space, to have a deeper connection to nature and to meet interesting people.

GUEST is a great fan of ‘SlowW Travel’. So what does this actually mean?

Often we don’t recognize how damaging travelling can be. Let’s check out two video clips by Doug Lansky, who clearly illustrates some key facts:


The OLD way of travelling

  • Linear (meaning more visitors = more money). View video clip (18 min).
  • Locations are overrun, social issue are escalating, visitor experiences diminished.


Mount Cook Retreat Villa with views over Lake Pukaki

Views over Lake Pukaki from Mount Cook Retreat Villa.


The NEW way of travelling

  • Non-linear. Balanced with the right time, uncrowded locations and low volumes. View video clip (14 min).
  • Better life quality for Locals, lower Cultural impact, kinder to Nature, enhanced visitor experiences.


Future Goals and Objectives

What should be done to achieve a more sustainable tourism?

  • Visitor numbers must be matched to the facilities that are available.
  • Reduce excessive travelling by staying longer at each location.
  • Aim for carbon-reduced and sustainable travel – lower the impact on nature.
  • Work with local travel experts to achieve a balanced travel itinerary.


travelling the west coast road south island

Travelling the West Coast Coastal road in the South Island


How GUEST supports ‘SLOW Travel’?

  1. By focusing on a maximum number of 5 x travel files for each travel month.
  2. Reducing the number of locations that visitors actually travel too.
  3. Stay longer (at least 3 nights) at each location with less environmental impact.
  4. Support the use of electric or hybrid transport wherever possible.
  5. Less tourism hot spots. Enable our visitors to experience less populated locations.
  6. Calculate & offset CO2 consumption for NZ transfers, stays and tours for guests.
  7. Give travellers the chance to offset their international flights to NZ at own cost.


View Global Warming Calculator (Bloomberg) and En-Roads Climate Interactive.

Sustainable Travel means for GUEST…

  • Attaining a Carbon Offset Programme & Certification.
  • To encourage sustainable transport such as trains and e-cars.
  • Offer alternative local transfers by local driver-guides.
  • Book accommodation & tours with sustainability standards.
  • Supporting local conservation & nature projects.


Summary on GUEST ‘SLOW Travel’

  1. Protect our local New Zealand environment and culture. √
  2. Elevate visitor experiences while travelling New Zealand. √
  3. Reduce carbon emissions and off-set by payment to NZ. √


View Amazing Travel Itineraries

We spent 30 days on the South Island. Michael organized a diverse trip consisting of hiking, wineries, sheep ranches and the most gorgeous places to stay. Michael’s service level was over the top! We were in constant touch with him especially toward the end when we needed his guidance regarding leaving due to the Corina virus. If you plan to go to New Zealand I highly recommend Michael. He will guide you to the most beautiful places and you will stay in small intimate and very special boutique inns with the most personable and knowledgeable hosts. Michael knows all the special nooks and crannies of New Zealand. Our trip was beyond fabulous!
Annemarie Gilly
Annemarie Gilly
13:12 16 Apr 20
Michael planned an amazing 11 day trip for me and my family in Australia and New Zealand. We absolutely loved all of the excursions he set up. He was incredibly helpful in assisting us in planning the trip and also with a few changes that happened during the trip (my husband got sick and wasn't able to make the trip and Michael was able to cancel plane flights, excursions, etc. for him). I would highly recommend him for anyone planning a trip to Australia or New Zealand. We hope to go back and we will definitely call Michael first.
Amy Lettes
Amy Lettes
15:41 27 Mar 20
I don't believe we could have had a better experience in New Zealand! Every detail of our trip was perfectly planned and each experience Guest New Zealand recommended for us was informative and extraordinary. The ease of having every detail arranged in advance -including the inter-island flights, the car rental, and all accommodations provided an easy stressless vacation. Michael Nees was so accommodating..from the very beginning planning stage to the end, he was available and willing to answer questions, arrange different plans, and advise us of any issues we might encounter. It was like having a personal travel companion who knew all the best places to go. We could not recommend Guest New Zealand more highly.
patti gramse
patti gramse
03:01 05 Feb 20
Michael did a great job constructing a memorable family holiday within our budget. Great balance of one of a kind experiences and leisure time to do as we pleased. Highly recommended their service.
Julie Milanese
Julie Milanese
07:56 26 Jan 20
I went to New Zealand with my husband and mother-in-law for 15 days over the Christmas and New Years holiday. It was the trip of a lifetime thanks to the Michael Ness. Michael was constantly available to us before our trip to answer all the questions we had. We worked with him to list a few things we wanted to do/were interested in, and he seamlessly created a 15 day trip throughout the 2 islands with airfare/transportation and accommodations included. We were able to see and do everything we had told him, and all the tours he recommended made our trip spectacular. The hotels we stayed at were ones he recommended and I can't image a better experience.I think what we were all most impressed by was how detail oriented Michael was. Every time we picked up our rental car, or checked in to a hotel or dinner reservation, everything was ready for us. He created a detailed itinerary and included all travel info/dates/confirmations we would need to reference. Michael's work allowed us to enjoy our vacation. We did not have to worry about looking up connecting flights or checking out which tour was rated the best - he took care of everything. If you are looking for an excellent trip to NZ - go to Michael!
Shyia Alam
Shyia Alam
01:00 09 Jan 20
Our third trip to NZ. Michael did a great job with our itinerary and the bed and breakfast were very good. The Night Sky Cottage was our hi light. Also had a great time watching the gannet at Kidnapper's cape. Michael was contactable and prompt with all our queries and helped us changed the gannet tour provider at the last minute when the first one was not available. Highly recommended!
Jit Biaw Lim
Jit Biaw Lim
08:56 29 Dec 19
Thanks to Michael we had the most amazing, smooth and well organized honeymoon we could think of in New Zealand! Michael was amazing, efficient and quick throughout the whole process and always reachable when we had questions! Could we have organized it ourselves? Probably yes, but it would have been stressful and time consuming which is what you don‘t want on your honeymoon :)! Michael advised us exactly what itinerary made sense for the time we had which was very important! The accomodations were all lovely and well suited for to budget and taste! We really loved the tours, all were in small groups with great friendly guides! We will never forget seeing yellow-eyed penguins and sealions at the beach so closely! Thank you!!!
Rita Steinhardt-Kager
Rita Steinhardt-Kager
02:27 09 Dec 19
Michael planned a 3 week trip around Australia for us. I found Michael on the internet, so I was a little skeptical at first, but all the positive reviews were right! We spoke a few times on Skype and sent a few emails back and forth, but overall It was a very simple process. It was clear Michael knew Australia very well and was able to point us in the right direction. We had 6 different stops along the way and 6 different inter island flights, so the itinerary was very complex. Everything went perfectly. All the transfers/cars were waiting for us at every stop. All the prearranged tours were on time to pick us up from our hotels. The companies he chose for our transfers and tours were top notch professionals. I would not hesitate to recommend Michael to any of my friends that are thinking of travelling to Australia or New Zealand!
Dave Yarnold
Dave Yarnold
03:33 30 Oct 19
Had a phenomenal trip in Australia curated by Micheal at Guest travel. He figured us out and planned a seamless trip that fit our needs and timelines. Our time at Kangaroo Island was amazing. Overall our trip was smooth and thoroughly enjoyable. Thank you Michael!
It was our first visit to New Zealand, and didn't have a clue about where to start developing an itinerary. Michael developed a plan which ensured we got to see some amazing places, stayed in some wonderfully different accommodation, and experienced some fantastic kiwi hospitality. I can whole heartedly recommend Guest New Zealand, and will certainly be using his services again.
Christine Fleming
Christine Fleming
21:40 25 Aug 19
This is our second trip with Guest New Zealand and they are great to work with both before and even during the trip. Michael was always there when we needed a recommendation or a work-around mid trip. Highly recommended if you're looking for an easier way to plan your trip.
Todd Rubano
Todd Rubano
14:57 02 May 19
Michael planned our 10 week tour of the South Island and it was a lot of fun. He was really attentive prior to the trip to make the itinerary custom made to our taste and even made us a self drive itinerary with all of the details in the routes.During the trip he was always available for last minute changes and arrangements. A real NZ expert.
Our good friends went to New Zealand last year and had a wonderful experience working with Michael and Guest New Zealand. So, we also requested Michael's help in planning our recent family trip to NZ. The itinerary he came up with was amazing! We were able to see many stunning sights and have incredible adventures on both the North and South Islands during the kids' spring break that we won't ever forget! It would have been so difficult and time consuming doing all of the planning on our own, and there is no way that we could have done it as well as a local. Save yourself the hassle and use Guest New Zealand!:)
Michelle Meyer
Michelle Meyer
01:32 15 Apr 19