After initially identifying gap in the market back in 2003, an Auckland-based tour company is offering a decidedly unique travel experience.
"Essentially, we make all the arrangements for overseas tourists coming to New Zealand on golfing trips and holidays," said Playing Around New Zealand's Managing Director, Will Owen. "Our customer base is quite diverse, actually.
"Our customers predominantly come from Australia, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. That said, we're also seeing a growing number of Asian golfers visiting our shores, especially from China."
To date, Playing Around currently has a fleet of eight – five Sprinters, two Viano and one S 350 – and that number is growing. An integral part of the golf-themed sightseeing tours the company runs, the vans are used to transport visiting golfers and their luggage all over the country.
The company's tours offer variety and flexibility. To this end, they can be hosted, self-drive, individuals through to large groups, four-star accommodation through to luxury lodges, Cape Reinga to Bluff – you name it. Here, the respective models' reputation for style, smooth drive, spacious interiors and large luggage areas really come into their own, according to Owen.
"Our guests are often high net-worth individuals, and we take them to the very best golf courses and accommodation in New Zealand. You could say that we pride ourselves on having the most comfortable, stylish fleet of tour vehicles in the country. We love the synergy of our brand and the Mercedes-Benz brand, given the high-end reputation we've built up over the years. The Sprinter, in particular, has been a real game changer for us."