Local Loop in lots of languages

Celebrating a year of Loop tours

KAT PICKFORD
Last updated 16:29 03/10/2012
Mary Rix-Miller
Derek Flynn
Bonjour : Marlborough entrepreneur Mary Rix-Miller says international visitors love finding people who speak their language when they are travelling abroad.

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Everybody loves strawberries, chocolate and bubbles, but not many people can say they do in Kiwi, French, Spanish and German.

A Blenheim entrepreneur and founder of self-drive tour the Local Loop, Mary Rix-Miller, can and is offering guided tours to international visitors in their own language.

The Local Loop was started a year ago by eight Marlborough businesses that wanted to show there is more to the region than wine, and give visitors a reason to extend their stay another night.

Ms Rix-Miller said it is a definite niche market, but thinks it will appeal to many tourists.

"I think people will like the idea of doing the loop in the comfort of having a driver who speaks your own language showing you the region."

Ms Rix-Miller picked up the languages while living in Europe operating a relocation business, hosting international people settling into a new country.

International travellers will gain a greater understanding of the people behind the region's businesses and their stories, she said.

The cost of the tour is $197 for each person, which includes pick-up and drop-off from Picton or Blenheim, transport, commentary, entry to Omaka Classic Cars and Omaka Aviation Heritage Museum, tastings and a picnic platter on the River Queen for lunch.

The tour is available for a maximum of eight people.

Ms Rix-Miller has done two tours this season, although both were in English for visitors from the United States and India.

The loop's founders are celebrating the map's one-year anniversary at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Museum tomorrow evening.

The companies involved with the loop are Makana Chocolate Factory, Traditional Country Preserves, the Vines Village, Hedgerows Hydroponic strawberry farm, the River Queen, Omaka Classic Cars, Omaka Aviation Heritage Museum and the Honey Company.

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