Multi-day tours - Health and Safety Policy
We are very fortunate to live in NZ with minimal travel restrictions under Level 1 and 2. New Zealand is one of the safest places in the world to travel, however we shouldn’t take this for granted and we all, as the Team of Five Million, need to do our part to keep ourselves and each other safe.
Hinterland Tours (a division of Mount Classic Tours Ltd) has always prioritised health and safety, ensuring all travellers and staff have a safe travel experience throughout New Zealand. With the onset of Covid-19 in 2020 this priority has assumed an even greater importance and the following provides some peace of mind to our travellers, their family and friends.
Changes to Covid-19 Alert Levels / Tour Departure Date Changes
Should NZ Covid-19 Alert Levels change prior to your tour commencing and the tour cannot go ahead, we will endeavour to change the date of the tour and with mutual agreement, move your booking to the new date. Should that not be suitable to you we will provide a full refund, or we can hold the funds in trust for a future tour once travel can resume.
If Alert Levels change whilst on tour, we will take advice from the Ministry of Health and activate an appropriate response. Your guide is trained to know what to do and in conjunction with the Hinterland Tours office will assist the tour group and individuals to return home should the tour need to end early. Please note that most tours can proceed at Levels 1 and 2.
We strongly encourage all travelers to purchase travel insurance. One provider of travel insurance is Covermore (www.covermore.co.nz*) however there are others on the market. Hinterland Tours do not sell travel insurance so you will need to make your own arrangements.
*This link is being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; it does not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Hinterland Tours of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. Hinterland Tours bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. All correspondence including claims must be directed fully to Covermore.
What You Can Expect When Travelling with Us
Hinterland Tours has been in operation for 20 years and our team have a combined 100+ years of experience in the NZ travel industry. Travelling with us means travelling with friends. We believe in personal service and treating our travellers like family.
We operate small group tours with, on average, 25% spare seats for comfort and roominess - with the advent of Covid-19 and social distancing this philosophy is even more important. Our smaller groups allow more space in the vehicle, opportunity to reduce contact with crowds of people and of course that we can look out for each other.
Before a tour, we require everyone to complete a medical questionnaire at the time of booking ensuring that we are aware of any health, mobility and/or dietary needs whilst on tour. This is confidential and shared only between the office and the guide for the tour. For each subsequent tour this questionnaire is reviewed and updated where necessary.
Our team regularly update themselves with Ministry of Health Guidelines and Best Practice in relation to Covid-19. In addition, the government service Healthline is available to our travellers and guides should they have any concerns.
On tour our guide is responsible for the tour, it’s operation and our travellers, however the office team are available 24/7 and, in an emergency will be able to support our guide, travellers and their family 24 hours a day.
According to Ministry of Transport guidelines wearing a mask onboard is encouraged, however it is not mandatory as we are operating an organised tour. If you feel a throat tickle or have a cough then for the protection and peace of mind of other travellers, we do encourage you to wear one. Likewise, your driver/guide may or may not wear a mask at his/her discretion if it impedes with communications and/or his ability to operate the vehicle safely.
As part of an organised tour, your guide will check into all locations we visit as part of our itinerary. We hold a list of names and contact details for all our travellers and we can refer to these where necessary. You are welcome to sign in via the Covid-19 Tracer App QR code that you will find on the door of each tour vehicle. Should you visit other locations whilst having free time on tour then it is your responsibility to check in for yourself.
We only use quality accommodation, restaurants, and attraction operators. For those with Qualmark accreditation these have achieved the regulatory standards set by Qualmark and as such will provide a safe and clean environment. For those that aren’t Qualmarked we request written confirmation that they have met the standards required under the NZ Health and Safety Act 2015 and Ministry of Health Covid-19 Guidelines.
Our guides carry suitable cleaning products. You can expect during any tour that:
The vehicle will be regularly sanitised throughout the day, plus a thorough clean at the end of each day
Hand sanitiser is available on all vehicles for the use by travellers and staff
Face masks are available should you require one, however we encourage you to bring your own from home
A clean rubbish bag will be available in the vehicle each day for personal rubbish however where possible please dispose of your rubbish in bins outside the vehicle
Our Mutual Responsibility:
Washing hands regularly and sneezing/coughing into your arm
If you’re not feeling well let your guide know
Practice social distancing if you’re feeling unwell
Ensure you have adequate rest on tour, eating well etc….
Being aware of others needs and being kind
If you require a mask on board, please ask your guide
Dispose of all tissues and used masks thoughtfully
Use seat pockets only for pamphlets, books etc…. and not personal hygiene products
Professional Industry Groups
As part of Mount Classic Tours Ltd, Hinterland Tours is a member of the following industry groups:
NZ Tourism Industry Association (www.tia.org.nz)
New Zealand Cruise Association (www.newzealandcruiseassociation.com)
These industry groups provide standards and recommendations put together by tourism professionals to ensure members have access to the best and most comprehensive advice for all areas of the business.
In particularly Tourism New Zealand’s own quality standards organisation - Qualmark has a mandatory requirement that all members achieve Covid-19 certification. This is a comprehensive audit of a business and its procedures to ensure they meet global regulatory standards with the World Travel and Tourism Council. Hinterland Tours has just undergone this audit successfully and can carry the ‘Covid Clean Approved’ logo.
We look forward to welcoming you on our tours and reassure you that we are and will do everything within our power to provide you with a safe, clean, wonderful tour. And please, if you have any concerns, please contact our office.
Further information and the latest government travel advice can be found at: www.covid19.govt.nz