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Austin and Active Adventures

Austin Adventures and Active Adventures Unite As Global Adventures Company

United by a powerful belief that travel creates inspiring and life-changing moments, Active Adventures of Queenstown, New Zealand and Austin Adventures of Montana, USA have merged to provide a wider world of opportunities for global travelers.
Two Great Travel Brands Unite

The merger will enable more adventure travelers to benefit from a broader range of global destinations and experiences. Both companies specialize in off-the-beaten-path small group adventure trips delivered with a personal touch.

“Travel today is not just about choosing a destination. Now more than ever, it’s about how we travel,” says Wendy van Lieshout, CEO of the new merger.

Hear From Wendy van Lieshout, CEO of the New Merger

Press Release

Active Adventures and Austin Adventures unite to create a global adventure company

 

BILLINGS, Mont. — United by a powerful belief that travel creates inspiring and life-changing moments, Active Adventures of Queenstown, New Zealand and Austin Adventures of Montana, USA have merged to provide a wider world of opportunities for global travelers.

The merger will enable more adventure travelers to benefit from a broader range of global destinations and experiences. Both companies specialize in off-the-beaten-path small group adventure trips delivered with a personal touch.

“Travel today is not just about choosing a destination. Now more than ever, it’s about how we travel,” says Wendy van Lieshout, CEO of the new merger.

“It’s about precious time together – creating lifetime memories, being inspired, and connecting with the people and environment around us. It’s about feeling you can trust the company you are on that journey with – that all the little details will be taken care of to create the best experience possible.”

“To expand our offerings to our loyal customers, it was critical we find a like-minded brand to join forces with. Just like us, Austin Adventures was born out of a deep passion for sharing authentic, curated, and inspirational adventure experiences with their guests.”

What does the merger mean for travelers? More choice of destinations, dates, and trip styles:

  • 100+ adventure trips available across the globe
  • More departure dates available throughout the year
  • More life-changing experiences – to be able to share with family and friends
  • Two customer service teams in different time zones, providing extended hours to help adventurers find the best trip to suit them

Each brand brings its own specialties and experiences that form an expanded, unified collection of adventure opportunities across the globe. Now, Austin Adventures’ tours will be available for booking on Active Adventures’ website, adding adventures in the USA, Canada, and Central America for both brands, including specific family departures. Active Adventures’ unique hiking, biking, and kayaking experiences in New Zealand, South America, Europe, the Himalayas, and Africa will be available via the Austin Adventures’ website.

According to Dan Austin, founder of Austin Adventures, the homework has been done to make sure the match was a natural fit and would create new opportunities for each other’s loyal guests. “We were founded in different countries, yet our companies have very similar stories. Each business is like a family – now we’ve just created one bigger family!”

Shared features:

  • Incredible local guides who have in-depth knowledge of every destination and years (if not decades) of experience
  • Small group sizes – average of 12-18 travelers per trip with two guides.
  • One-of-a-kind experiences, away from the crowds
  • All-inclusive, multi-day, fully guided, multi-activity adventures in the most stunning adventure travel destinations around the world
  • Authentic, personalized service – taking care of every detail, so guests can just relax and enjoy their vacation
  • Hand-picked accommodations in amazing locations
  • Great food and memorable meals are part of the adventure and experience

The two brands have come together as one global team across New Zealand and the USA, with operational bases around the globe.

“We share the same commitment to putting our guests at the heart of everything we do. We look forward to sharing many more special experiences with our guests and partners,” says van Lieshout.

For more information please contact:

Courtney Iannuccilli

VP of Global Marketing

[email protected]

Meet Our Leadership Team

Wendy van Lieshout

Wendy van Lieshout

Chief Executive Officer

Originally from the Netherlands, Wendy immigrated to New Zealand with her family as a child and is now very much a ‘kiwi’. With more than twenty years’ experience in senior management roles in leisure and corporate travel, Wendy is particularly passionate about inspiring positive culture in the workplace. She’s a graduate of the University of Canterbury, a previous board member of the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand, and a current board member of the Tourism Export Council NZ.

Dan Austin

Dan Austin

Founder & Head of Special Projects

Born and bred in California, Dan ignited his passion for adventure travel in 1976 as partner of a rafting company in the Pacific Northwest. His travels soon took him to Alaska, where he owned and operated a construction company. Looking for a new challenge and having experienced small group adventure travel as a guest, Dan and a partnership group bought Backcountry Tours of Bozeman, Montana in 1994. Later, he created Adventures Plus, which in 2000 officially became Austin Adventures.

Sam Morrah

Sam Morrah

Head of International Sales & Distribution

Sam hails the small town of Feilding on the north island of New Zealand. After five years working as a reporter, Sam set sail for Europe where he began his foray into the travel industry as a Tour Guide. Upon returning to New Zealand, he returned to the sales side of travel progressing from Sales Manager to General Management roles with international travel companies throughout New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia before joining Active Adventures.

Curtis

Curtis Fox

Head of Commercial

Curtis brings more than 10 years of professional travel experience to Austin Adventures. During this time he has explored some of the world’s most distinctive and culturally rich destinations. Curtis’s professional resume includes years on the ground in Southeast Asia supervising a destination management company as well as roles in product development with several of North America’s largest young adult and adventure travel companies.

Adrian Nankivell

Adrian Nankivell

Head of Information & Communications Technology

With a scientific background in Antarctic Geophysics and experience in tech research and development in the UK, Adrian first toured around in New Zealand in 1991, stayed for good in 2002 and has been working for Active ever since. After starting out as a New Zealand tour guide, he inevitably ended up being sucked into the office where his technical and analytical skills could be put to work in various roles over the years.

Courtney Iannuccilli

Courtney Iannuccilli

Head of Global Marketing

Courtney grew up in Massachusetts, USA. Upon receiving her undergrad, she focused her skills on marketing for travel brands. There she also went back to school and received her MBA. At her previous role to joining Active, she was lucky enough to ski in the Swiss Alps, hike up Machu Picchu and kayak around in the Fiji islands (just to name a few!). Being able to explore, meet different people and find the uniqueness that each part of the world has to offer is a dream!

Mark Traveller

Mark Traveller

Chief Financial Officer

Originally from Wellington, Mark’s accounting studies at Victoria University took him from Wellington to New York City, to Queenstown (where he joined the Active Adventures team), and eventually to Toronto, Canada, where he is now based. As a chartered accountant and Active Adventures Chief Financial Officer, Mark’s background combines a mixture of technical accounting, deal advisory, and commercial experience.

Jon Singleton

Jon Singleton

Head of New Zealand & Global Operations

Jon grew up in Mount Maunganui, a beach paradise in the south Pacific ocean. He got into driving Trans Africa expeditions at an early age, progressing into management roles in adventure tourism based in Australia and New Zealand. Tourism has taken him to the best parts of our world- from Kisangani to El Chaltén and Oodnadatta to Vestmannaejar and a few more places in between.

Kasey close up YL sign  scaled

Kasey Austin

Head of USA Operations & President USA

Kasey was born in Alaska and raised in Billings, Montana. She graduated in 2011 as a Presidential Leadership Scholar at the University of Montana in Missoula with a degree in Education. Growing up in the world of adventure travel, it was only natural for Kasey to jump into the family business. Kasey works full time at Austin Adventures as the President. This allows her to work closely with AA’s U.S. and European guides as well as tour operators worldwide.

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