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Company History

We are a 100% New Zealand family-owned and operated travel company; proudly offering innovative travel products since 1987.

Our business has seen many key stages of growth over the past 30+ years, some of which we have detailed here:

seven people posing together on a boat
people sitting under sign with distances to capital cities over the world
Leisure Time Group logo

1987  Leisure Time Tours was formed in 1987 by Les & Barbara Mehrtens of Hamilton New Zealand. Les started offering day trips around the region, these quickly became very popular and demand soon prompted more frequent and extended trips, including overnight regional tours. From this concept, the Leisure Time Travel Club was born and still exists today with around 1000 happy members enjoying regular day trips and NZ-wide tours.

1991 Whilst on the tour circuit with the Travel Club Les was approached by an Australian operator who noticed something about Les’s passengers – they were really happy! The Australian operator asked Les to conduct his annual New Zealand tour and from this point, Leisure Time Tours inbound division commenced.

1997 Les & Barbara’s son, Scott Mehrtens, returned from overseas and joined as a shareholder and Manager of Leisure Time Tours. Scott’s background in events and hospitality management also added another dimension to the company – working with the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events industry (MICE).

2001 Leisure Time Tours purchased their first coach to compliment their tour operation. The fleet grew rapidly and new vehicles are continually added to keep up with demand from the touring operation.   Owning a coach fleet in New Zealand enables greater cost and quality control while giving agents and their guests’ assurance of seamless operations.

2011 Leisure Time Tours purchased another travel business;  Travel Time South Pacific – a well-established inbound tour operator offering travel solutions to travel agents in the UK, USA and Europe. The inbound operations continue today under the name Travel Time South Pacific, working in conjunction with our brand Leisure Time Tours.

2017 We celebrated a fantastic milestone – 30 successful years in the tourism industry!

2018 Leisure Time Tours purchased local specialist travel company; Agritravel, to enable an even broader range of specialised product offerings for our domestic and international clientele.

2019 Launched Vokali, Pure Discoveries, and the Leisure Time Group brands. Vokali is a specialist Destination Management Company and event management company. Pure Discoveries is our own retail travel brand focussing on Small Group set departures. Leisure Time Group was established to encompass a family of brands that can all sit within this parent group.

2020 Leisure Time Tours purchased Lime & Soda, a Professional Conference Organiser (PCO), to complement our events brand, Vokali.

2020 We changed our brand name to LEISURE TIME TRAVEL to reflect that we are not just about tours. Leisure Time Travel looks after all your New Zealand travel needs; from day trips and short breaks to escorted group tours, rail journeys or small boat experiences. We also love to create tailor-made travel packages for businesses or large family/friend groups.

Today  Leisure Time Travel operates as part of the Leisure Time Group – a family of travel and event brands creating innovative and inspiring travel and event experiences around New Zealand.