TORONTO — The Intrepid Group is cutting the age range for trips in its Geckos lineup “to meet a growing demand from the next generation of travellers”.
The Intrepid Group says the decision to drop the maximum age-limit from 39 to 29 years old is in response to travel agent focus groups and feedback from its youngest travellers, who told the company they were looking for a ‘genuine’ youth product that enabled them to travel with like-minded people of their own age.
The decision to now only offer Geckos style of small group adventures with local leaders to travellers aged 18-to-29 years old means that that the age-range will be almost halved next year. However, Intrepid Group’s Managing Director James Thornton says that this is a “strategic move by the company to invest in and grow the youth market with its style of sustainable experience-rich travel”.
According to the UNWTO, youth travel is one of the fastest growing sectors in tourism representing 23% of over one billion international tourists each year. Generation Z is predicted to influence youth travel trends with a more socially conscious, authentic and pragmatic approach than the generation before it.
“This move is not intended as a wake-up call for 30-somethings; it’s about transforming Geckos in to a brand that provides the next generation of travellers with a responsible small group alternative to party bus tours,” says James Thornton, Managing Director Intrepid Group. “While there are other travel brands with age limits, there is nobody offering a dedicated youth product to travellers who want an authentic experience that gives back to the places they visit and people they meet.”
The change will apply to all Geckos Adventures trips in 2017, with the exception of trips to the Galapagos Islands which will be open to all ages and run by sister brand Intrepid.
Other changes include Geckos making booking trips even easier by reducing the deposit to $100 per person per trip; introducing 20 new trips for 2017; the return of trips in North America and Africa; and a significant increase in departure frequency to round off the expansion of the brand.
The Intrepid Group reports strong growth since it returned to 100% private-ownership last year.