Last week, PAX was a lucky media participant on a life-changing Contiki FAM in Peru.
Taking a new approach to the educational tour (at least, compared to what we've seen in the past), the trip was designed so the group could truly soak in the destination and the product – no business discussion until the very end, so as not to disrupt the authentic experience.
When the opportunity came to share questions, Brad Ford, Contiki Canada president, and Sheralyn Berry, director of sales, took some time to alleviate any misconceptions travel professionals often have about the brand and other selling tips they could use to help grow their business.
Here are a few highlights:
1. The average age of Contiki travellers is 26-years-old.
According to Berry, many travel consultants think the average age skews from 18-22 and as such, they don't believe they have the demographic to sell the product. A large portion of Contiki travellers are in fact young professionals looking to maximize the short time they have to take holidays, which opens up additional sales opportunities. Another Contiki group that was visiting Cusco at the same time we were was made up of a doctor, lawyer, engineer and two sets of couples.
2. Fifty-five per cent of Contiki guests are solo travellers.
Tours are listed with the additional investment required if a participant does not want to share a room, and it's important to know that the single supplement is not double the base rate. For a two week trip, the additional cost is about $400-$600, on average. That said, an important part of the experience is sharing a room with a travel companion who you can debrief with at the end of every day – many people participate in these trips for the social experience. In the odd case that assigned roommates do not mix well, the trip manager can be notified and will make adjustments as necessary.
3. Thousands of marriages are created from Contiki tours.
The female to male ratio globally is 60 per cent female to 40 per cent male. Our capable tour manager, Jhonathan, has conducted 26 Contiki tours so far and in that time, witnessed eight proposals plus the beginning of many lifetime romances. Not only is that a selling aspect that travel consultants can leverage, but Berry also recommends tapping into parents and family members who may have been part of these love stories in the past. She suggests that when travel agents book clients with brands such as Trafalgar, Insight or Uniworld, ask them if they have someone who fits the Contiki demographic that they might be interested in gifting a trip to. The Gifter Program offers travel consultants materials to help tap into this market potential (ask your sales manager for details). Some of Contiki's best travel agents do not sit within the Contiki demographic – many top sellers are in their 40s, 50s and 60s.
4. Contiki's repeat passenger rate is 11 per cent.
"That is a lot of business for you guys - anyone you've ever sent on a Contiki trip, go after them again," Berry said. Judging by booking patterns, those who book a Contiki tour to Europe will then be interested in venturing off to Asia, South America, the South Pacific or back to Europe.
5. Canadians, on average, are spending $2,100 on Contiki trips.
Compare this to U.S. travellers who spend $1,700 on average or $2,200 from Australians.
For more information, visit http://www.contiki.com/.