Gen Y kills Contiki: Tour company abandons its Europe camping holiday package after five decades because millennials refuse to stay in tents
- Contiki is retiring its ‘Original’ camping tour across Europe due to low demand
- Company’s managing director has said that ‘young people don’t want to camp’
- The last bunch of guests for the company’s ‘Original ‘camping tour left last week
Contiki has abandoned its Europe camping holiday package after five decades because customers are now refusing to stay in tents.
The last bunch of travellers on the youth-focused tour company’s ‘Original’ camping round-trip from London to destinations such as Barcelona, Athens, and Istanbul departed last week.
‘The reason why we’re retiring our Original tour is because young people don’t want to camp any more,’ managing director Katrina Barry told The Australian.
Contiki has abandoned its Europe camping holiday package after five decades because customer are now refusing to stay in tents
In the early days of the company, tour participants would unpack and setup their own tents – frequently hungover – and rough it in sleeping bags as they made their way across Europe.
These days, however, the company’s guests – with an average age of 23 – want the comforts of home including fast Wi-Fi and luxury bathrooms.
Alcohol has also taken a back seat with trip-goers being much more health conscious and wanting unique experiences rather than partying.
‘I’d say 50 per cent of our customers are doing yoga on the lawn in the morning at seven,’ Ms Barry said.
The tour company was started by New Zealander John Anderson to fund his own trip across Europe.
Anderson was travelling by himself in London and without much money – so he purchased a yellow VW Kombi van and sold seats in it for about 100 pounds.
Since the humble beginnings of that six week trip, the company has grown to one of the largest tour operators in the world.
The company focuses on trips for 18-35 year old guests and promotes the tour packages as a mixture of adventure and socialising.
One of the participants on this last Contiki camping tour Jason Hyam, 21, from Sydney said staying in tents was a great experience and was a good bonding experience for the group.
The 18 person tour is spending 46 nights in two person tents and visiting 23 countries across Europe – many having the same destinations as that first tour.
‘I’m super excited to be part of the final Contiki camping trip but sad when I think about others never getting this authentic travel experience,’ Mr Hyam said.
The last bunch of travellers on the youth-focused tour company’s ‘Original’ camping round-trip from London to destinations such as Barcelona, Athens, and Istanbul departed last week