talking travel and trends with contiki
Dearest readers, are you burning to follow in the footsteps of Daphne and the Duke of Hastings?
It turns out, you are not alone.
After Contiki asked its community if they would be interested in a Bridgerton-themed trip, the holiday provider for 18 to 35-year-olds was met with an overwhelming response: Yes!
Travel Courier caught up with Contiki Canada’s President Sheralyn Berry to talk about the proposed itinerary, findings from the latest “Voice of a Generation” survey and much more.
What details can you reveal about a tentative Bridgerton-inspired Contiki trip and how the idea has already been well received?
The tentative Bridgerton-inspired trip will hopefully be part of Contiki’s new Limited Edition series. It’s set to be a mini adventure spanning four days, escorting clients through England from London to Bath and the countryside. On the trip, guests would visit locations that will remind them of the television series while educating them on the real history. In the proposed itinerary, guests will attend a proper high tea and explore British palaces.
Since asking clients to help unlock the Bridgerton-inspired trip, Contiki has received an outpouring of support seeing interest from more than 4,000 travellers across social media channels.
What are some of the real-life filming locations that guests could potentially visit?
The proposed trip is structured around at least 19 amazing filming locations from the series, but if I had to choose my personal favourites, I’d start with these four:
- Of course, the stunning wisteria draped Bridgerton family residence. The real-life location of this house is Ranger’s House in London, and it will definitely become a popular spot for fans of the show to pose on the front steps.
- The iconic Royal Crescent of Bath that serves as the front steps for many of the Bridgerton homes, including the Featherington family home and Opera singer Siena Rosso’s London flat. Since Bath is home to so many amazing filming locations, we’re also working on a walking tour of the city with a local guide to bring clients to several locations, including Lady Danbury’s mansion and Madame Delacroix’s Dress Shop.
- Queen Charlotte is one of my favourite characters in the show. On this trip, we’ll be taking guests on a tour of Wilton House, used as her royal residence, which can be found in East Mosely.
- Lastly, to round up my favourites, we’re including an actual show at Hackney House, the same theatre used as the opera house where we see the character Siena perform in the show.
Is there anything else new and exciting when it comes to future Contiki itineraries or destinations?
In December, Contiki conducted a global survey seeking to understand where travellers want to explore and how they want to travel when they are ready. The responses confirmed what we were thinking. Contiki will be launching even more small group trips such as our Moroccan Adventure, Real Sicily and Detour itineraries released in 2020. Clients also want to be fully immersed in a destination, so Contiki will be creating more regional, single-country itineraries exploring off the beaten path. We’re also mixing up our transportation on some of our trips to make it easier for clients to move around in their travel bubble. Stay tuned for the launch of our new 2022 trips!
Can you share some information and key findings from the latest “Voice of a Generation” survey?
Over 1,200 youths participated in the Voice of a Generation survey which uncovered a group desperate to travel: 63 per cent of Millennials and Gen Z plan to travel this year and 58 per cent would travel right now even if it meant having to PAY for quarantine when they return home. Among young Canadians surveyed, 75 per cent would take the COVID-19 vaccine just to use their passport and hop on a plane again. COVID-19 has made Canadians appreciate travel more, realizing the privilege that it is.
With so much unpredictability around borders, the biggest barrier for the youth market is risk of cancellation and clients revealed they are most incentivised if they can book with confidence with Contiki’s trusted travel agent partners. When booking an international trip, 86 per cent prioritized free cancellation and 74 per cent cited flexibility to change a booking as key factors in their decision.
Canadian clients are dreaming of faraway places and Europe tops the list with 47 per cent eager to explore, followed by Asia at 11 per cent and Africa a close third. Despite the pandemic, 93 per cent of Canadians surveyed would consider a group trip and hold well-being protocols as a top priority, giving an average score of 8/10 for importance. Our travel agent partners know it’s important to travel with peace of mind, which clients can do with Contiki as we were recently awarded the WTTC safe travels stamp.
Did any of the results surprise you?
When it comes to wellness, 56 per cent of Canadian clients are looking for trips to unwind and recharge, more than any other country. Additionally, despite being a generation born into the digital age with a phone glued to their hand, 46 per cent of Canadians said they’d happily spend a week or more without technology to travel again and reconnect with people – longer than any other region. Finally, Canadian youth are so desperate to travel, that 63 per cent are willing to book a travel ticket not knowing where they’d go until the day before.
Are there any travel trends you think will be on the rise for post-pandemic travel?
Clients are going to book that bucket list trip they have been dreaming of, they won’t waste any more time wanderlusting over it and are just going to book it. Longer trips and higher price point adventures are being booked.
We are also going to see an increase in “slow travel,” where there is a real emphasis on connection. Travellers will be more mindful of travelling sustainably and supporting the local communities, connecting with the culture and people. We will also see an increase in digital nomads as many people can work anywhere in the world and have proven they can get the job done remotely; all they need is an internet connection.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Sustainability has always been a concern for Millennial and Gen Z travellers, but in 2020, that was amplified and Contiki has pledged to make a difference with our Contiki Cares initiatives. We are working with all of our restaurant partners to support and provide local food, in turn growing the economies where we visit and reducing our carbon footprint. By 2025, 25 per cent of our product will visit under-touristed areas new to our offerings, which we committed to as part of our pledge in partnership with The TreadRight Foundation to #MakeTravelMatter.