At the Contiki function in Sunset Bar, Sudima Auckland… Marija Tolj, TTC; Adam Armstrong, Contiki; Jono Norton, Flight Centre At the Contiki function in Sunset Bar, Sudima Auckland… Marija Tolj, TTC; Adam Armstrong, Contiki; Jono Norton, Flight Centre

Contiki CEO: Plenty of scope in youth market

Travel agents who are finding it difficult to connect with Gen Z should look towards their parents and grandparents to bridge the gap, says Contiki CEO, Adam Armstrong.

In New Zealand this week to meet with trade (and three groups of Contiki guests currently travelling the country) Armstrong admits that reaching and selling to the youth market through traditional methods can be tricky.

‘We’ve adapted by advertising largely digitally now – on social principally. Our call centre is open 24/7 because Gen Z are not always planning their holidays between 9am and 5pm.

‘To work with this market agents have to be available at all sorts of hours, something home-based agents may have as an advantage, and they have to be in the digital world.

‘Alternatively target your clients who are their parents and grandparents. Ask where their kids are travelling this year – Contiki goes everywhere and it’s a safe and reliable way travel.

‘So they can send their kids away on an organised trip with security of mind.’

Armstrong says he realises there are other exciting segments of the holiday market being served by the trade, but he adds that the youth market still provides a huge opportunity. Conversely there are young travellers who can benefit by what agents have to offer.

‘New Zealand lost a big distributor when STA went during Covid. They were good at upselling to the youth market. So where are those young travellers going now? There must be a gap for other agents to fill.’

Armstrong notes the brand is marking 62 years of operation in 2024.

‘We keep things fresh and we add new tours but the core of what Contiki is about hasn’t changed – having a group of young people who don’t know each other coming together and travelling.’

Armstrong says Contiki’s first tour in South Korea departs on 22 August and the destination is generating plenty of interest.

‘With things like K Pop and Squid Games there’s a lot of buzz around Korea but it’s not the easiest place to get around as an individual, so a brand like Contiki makes it easier.

‘Another new destination, Philippines is selling well and the Garden Route itinerary we launched in South Africa (adding to safari and Cape Town programmes) has proven popular.’

Contiki hosted trade and media to a function at Sunset Bar, Sudima Auckland on Wednesday.

Related items

ProMag