Press Releases Tour Operator

Contiki Unveils New Style of “Social Travel” for Youth Market

Contiki Unveils New Style of "Social Travel" for Youth Market

With Contiki’s recent brand refresh it has shone a fresh new spotlight on a travel stylethat they have been quietly perfecting for over 60 years. It’s called ‘Social Travel’ and it’s the travel style you’ve probably never heard of but millions have enjoyed. Social Travel in Contiki’s trip form maximizes your ‘good time’ like nothing else, but how do they do it and why is it different?


Social Travel is bringing a group of like-minded people together on a trip all designed around the phenomenon that our experiences are heightened when shared with others. And there is a huge global desire for it. Contiki research shows that 97% of Australians have a positive feeling toward Social Travel with the UK and Europe (96%), New Zealand (91%) USA (87%) and Canada (83%). Contiki speculates these numbers are so high as we have been denied basic human social connections throughout the pandemic.


And while geographically it is close, it seems those on the mature side of the youth market have more of the feels for Social Travel. 88% of 18–24-year-olds had a positive feeling toward social travel whilst this increased in the 25-35’s to 93%.


But what is so attractive? Study participants suggested that we associate Social Travel mostly with new experiences (72%), making friends (64%) and good memories (59%). Contiki sort all the trip details and itineraries to maximize on trip experience but this is only a small piece of the overall puzzle.


Contiki CMO Simon Llanos said “Interestingly only half of participants stated ‘sharing experiences’ as one of the appeals of Social Travel, but this dramatically increases to almost 98% once the trip has concluded. The biggest shift in any of the original appeals”.


“So, while we might not initially realize its appeal our unconscious does and craves this kind of connection, our sensory experience is changed depending on whether it is shared or not”, Llanos concluded, “the shared is more intense than unshared, leaving it as the number one appeal on exit surveys. Our job is to help our travelers understand this before they depart – it’s going to be great”.


This shared enhancement concept has been psychologically tested to determine its impact and time and time again the science is clear. A study completed at Yale University showed that (Shared experiences are amplified. Boothby, Clarke, Bargh. 2014 = participants liked chocolate significantly more when they believed they were sharing the chocolate experience with another person. They also said that the chocolate was more flavorful, even though all the chocolates were identical and were proven to be more absorbed in the process when sharing it than when they were not.


Contiki Social Travel is not exclusively for those who can compile a squad and those who have the ‘social’ element sorted.


Natasha Lawrence Contiki, Commercial and Product development director, said“We’re seeing a steady increase in solo travelers, that really ramped up between 2018-19 and continues to grow close to 10% year on year. It is now our most dominant traveler type”.


Contiki knew from previous surveys on solo travel that 72% of respondents would travel solo, but nervousness or loneliness of solo travel was the biggest prohibitor at almost 50%. “It stands to reason that a Contiki Social Travel trip filled with travelers on the same wavelength enhancing each other’s experience would be an ideal fit for a solo traveler.  Travelers meet people from all over the world, both travelling solo and in small groups, but all aligned on having the best time ever” Lawrence suggested. “It’s nice to know you can get this great travel experience even if your friends are pro ‘ghosters’ when it comes to actually sorting the details” she ended.


The secret sauce? Well, Contiki won’t share it all, but they do give some bits away. Social travel trips provided by Contiki are designed to quickly create a strong group dynamic where strangers are not strange for very long, travelers quickly become integrated with one another so that there is little competition for attention or thought.  The details of the trips are all sorted and itineraries carefully designed to ensure travelers can stay in this heightened enjoyment state rather than having to worry about the trivial stresses that can arise when travelling in a conventional way. Contiki states that realizing this is when the real fun begins.


Trips are available from 3 days to 45 days and can visit multiple countries or take a more in-depth approach and spend time in one location or region. From general trips to sailing, skiing, hiking and so much more there really is a great shared experience for every taste.All carbon neutral thanks to Contiki Cares.


Social Travel is different. Travelers spend time traveling together, and without explicit communication their lives intertwine socially but silently, the good experiences getting better.