Wilderness Guides

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Wilderness Guides gets its international safety certification

Wilderness Guides is an adventure tourism company located on the Picton waterfront, at the doorstep of the Marlborough Sounds. They have been introducing visitors to the Sounds and the Queen Charlotte Track for nearly 20 years, through sea kayaking, mountain biking, and guided and independent walks.

Owners Juliet and Steve Gibbons come from guiding backgrounds. They completed their Adventure Activities certification with OutdoorsMark, and recently decided to expand on this by also getting an international certification for Wilderness Guides.

The company achieved its certification and is now ISO-accredited.

Juliet says they chose the international certification because wanted to extend themselves and the business, and go further than the minimum requirement. It was a way to put their system through its paces and test it against the most rigorous standards.

“Whenever there is something we can do to go further, in terms of extending and improving the business, we see that as a real positive.” Juliet says a statement that she once heard at an event has stuck with her over the years: Safety is not your competitive edge.

“For us safety is fundamental. It’s not about a marketing advantage, it’s about ensuring you are looking after your customers and providing them with a safe and fun experience, whatever environment you’re working in.

“So of course the ISO accreditation is known and trusted internationally, and we thought that would be a great added bonus, but the real value for us was in going through the process itself.”

Matt Phillips