7 reasons Contiki trips are a must-do for Millennials & Gen Z

TORONTO — Millennials are seeking life-changing travel opportunities showing them the authentic culture of a destination, coupled with food and adrenaline-rushing experiences.

They want to visit off-the-beaten-path places but still cross the must-see spots off their bucket list.

The momentum has been building for a while but this year especially, Millennials and Gen Z are putting experiences above everything else.

Whether clients want to be wowed by the wildlife in Africa, get adventurous in Asia or visit Europe’s iconic cities, Contiki delivers on experiences and hassle-free, unforgettable adventures.

The Contiki SEVEN campaign gives clients the opportunity to dive deeper into the destinations they’ve been dying to visit, so they can stop wondering and start wandering.

How do you help clients pick the perfect adventure, and why should you book them with Contiki? Apart from the 57 years of travel expertise and six continents Contiki offers, Travelweek caught up with Dave Marathakis, National Sales Manager for Contiki, to find out what makes Contiki unique and why agents and their clients will have #NoRegrets when they book with Contiki…

1. Real Experiences

Contiki gives clients the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the captivating culture of each destination. “Every Contiki adventure is designed around the clients and guarantees they will see the icons, the things they can only do with Contiki and some unexpected gems that will surprise them,” says Marathakis. “And clients can choose to do as many or as few of the offered experiences as they want, since it’s their trip, they’re free to personalize it their way.”

On Contiki’s Vietnam Experience, clients can indulge their inner foodie with a visit to the bustling Ben Thanh markets for traditional Bánh mi and Bia hơi, savour fresh seafood aboard a traditional junk boat in Halong Bay and experience a Vietnamese cooking lesson in Hoi An.

2. Unique Accommodation

Travelling can be tiring, but staying somewhere that offers more than just a place to sleep can make all the difference between a good trip and a phenomenal one, and Contiki is betting clients would prefer the latter.

Whether it’s perfectly located three- and four-star hotels, fun next generation hostels, local homestays or Contiki-owned properties, Contiki travellers get to experience it all.

“Part of what makes Contiki unmatchable is the diversity of accommodations clients get to stay at,” says Marathakis. “Contiki actually owns its own accommodations in some places, including a French château, a Swiss chalet, a literal jungle treehouse in Thailand, a revamped Austrian Gasthof and more.”

On Contiki’s European Horizon adventure, clients can cozy up with stays at both the sleek Austrian Gasthof and serene Swiss Chalet. During downtime, there’s something for everyone as both are fully equipped with TVs, bars and board games and perfectly nestled in the alps offering plenty of opportunities to get their adrenaline pumping or capture that picture-perfect photo for the ‘gram.

3. The Best Team

All Contiki adventures are accompanied by a Contiki crew, AKA the people who make the magic happen: Trip Managers, Expert Drivers and Local Guides. Contiki Trip Managers are highly trained and are loaded with local insight and enthusiasm, they’ll ensure your clients have the time of their lives. Contiki’s Local Guides share the secrets of the cities, avoiding tourist traps and immersing clients in the heart of the destination.

“On every Contiki trip I’ve been on, each team has proven to be way more than just guides,” says Marathakis. “Not only are they incredibly friendly, accessible and knowledgeable about everything and anything, they also are all genuinely passionate about their jobs, travel and making sure every client has an unforgettable experience.”

4. Eat Local

Half the excitement of exploring a new culture is letting your taste buds explore too. According to a recent study by Contiki, 31% of Canadian Millennials cite food as a deciding factor for travelling. If immersive dining experiences at local family run restaurants or eating locally sourced meals are a priority for your client, they’ll thank you for booking them on a Contiki trip, says Marathakis.

Exploring the breathtaking Amalfi coast, Contiki’s Mediterranean Escape will take them to a wine and mozzarella tasting in Sorrento, have them chowing down on authentic gyros in Greece and puckering up on an Amalfi lemon tour at a local family farm where they’ll savour lemonade, limoncello and Nonna’s freshly baked lemon cake.

5. Exclusively for 18-35s

Whether clients are travelling alone, with friends or with their partner, if they’re looking for ‘Social Travel’ they will definitely enjoy connecting with like-minded fellow young travellers from all over the world.

“Travelling with Contiki is amazing because there’s the added value of new friendships, which really, money just can’t buy,” says Marathakis.

Contiki is exclusively for 18-35 year olds, and group sizes can have as few as 25 travellers on small-group adventures, such as the Cape, Safari & Falls adventure, to up to 52 travellers at maximum capacity on trips like Egypt & the Nile or Greek Island Hopping. All in all, clients are likely to come home with a new travel BFF (or several) after bonding over legendary experiences, laughter and adventure.

6. Tread Lightly

Sustainable tourism has been a growing trend in the travel industry, but not all companies have been on board from day one. Through Contiki Cares, powered by the TreadRight Foundation, Contiki has been committed to preserving the wildlife, planet and people of the communities they visit, so generations to come can continue discovering the places, faces and cultures of these spectacular destinations.

Any client who chooses to travel with Contiki is already making a positive sustainable travel decision as coach travel is the greenest mode of transportation available. One full coach produces five times less carbon dioxide emissions per passenger per kilometre than a plane on the same route, and for every full coach there are 16 less cars on the road.

Finally, Contiki is addressing the plastic problem – along with all of The Travel Corporation and its family of brands. Because plastic is the biggest threat to the world’s marine environments, and 73% of plastic water bottles end up in the ocean or landfills, Contiki is introducing its own eco-friendly water bottle this year. The bottles eliminate the need for expensive and wasteful plastic water bottles wherever clients are in the world, as its design incorporates innovative filtration systems that makes tap water safe to drink. The environment will be better off when clients book Contiki, and the company is sure they’ll appreciate the ease and comfort of treading lightly, not just treading right, says Marathakis.

7. Commitment to Agents

Travel agent partners are of immeasurable value to Contiki. As more Millennials and Gen Z are relying on travel agents to find their perfect adventure, Contiki is showing its appreciation for agents in a variety of ways.

The ContikiU eLearning program shares the wealth of knowledge they have on the young traveller and offers various prizes for agents who successfully complete each tier.

Contiki is also offering several incentives and programs curated particularly to benefit agents, including the legendary open-age FAM trips they host.

Throughout its latest Contiki SEVEN campaign, the Contiki Rewards program offers agents the opportunity to earn $250 for every five passengers booked on any Contiki trips lasting seven days or longer. As well, agents can win destination-themed prize packs through the Contiki Canada Travel Agent Facebook page throughout the campaign.

Now until April 14, Contiki is offering $250 off its most popular trips for a limited time as part of its The Contiki SEVEN campaign.

Trips include European Horizon, Cape, Safari & Falls, Asian Adventure, Egypt & the Nile, Mediterranean Escape, Vietnam Experience and Greek Island Hopping.

Agents can also turn every Contiki booking into a cash incentive. With the launch of its revamped Contiki Rewards program for 2019, you can earn $250 for every five passengers booked on any Contiki trips that are over seven days.

For every additional 5 passengers booked, agents will receive another $250 in cash. Fill out the ‘2019 Cash Incentive’ form, which can be downloaded at contiki.com/agents, and email it to sales@contiki.ca.

Agents can also enter to win prize packs throughout the campaign on the Contiki Canada Travel Agents Facebook page, plus both agents and clients are eligible to enter the national grand prize giveaway for a trip plus airfare.

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