Contiki Tours

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Contiki Vacations
  • Contiki
  • Contiki Tours
  • Contiki Holidays
Industry Travel and Leisure
Fate Acquired by Trafalgar Tours
Founded New Zealand (1962 (1962))
Founder John Anderson
Area served
Parent The Travel Corporation

Contiki Tours is a Travel Corporation-operated coach tour company operating in Europe, Russia, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, North America, South America, and Asia.[1] The travel company was formed in 1962 specifically to create coach trips for 18-35 year-olds[2] to include a mix of sightseeing, free time, culture, socializing, and adventure.[1]

In 1961, New Zealander John Anderson arrived in London ready to explore Europe. By himself and without much money, he devised a plan so that he would not have to travel alone.[1] He put a deposit on a minibus, gathered a group of people to travel with, and spent 12 weeks exploring Europe with his group. At the end of the trip, he unsuccessfully tried to sell the minibus. In the Spring of 1962 he decided to promote his Europe trip again, and this time he was able to fit two trips into the summer season. The first tours were booked by 19-29 year-olds starting the tradition of Contiki Holidays being for youth travelers. The name Contiki comes from 'Con' from the word 'Continent' and 'Tiki'; derived from the native New Zealand Maori good luck charm.[1]

Contiki claims to be the most popular youth travel company in the world, carrying over 150,000 18-35 year olds worldwide in 2007.[1]

Contiki Tours[edit]

A trio of Contiki tour buses for three different tours in Èze, France in September 2005

There are three types of tours that travelers can choose to take, Camping Tours, Budget Tours, and Superior Tours. Each style has a mix of sightseeing and free time with the main difference between the styles being the accommodations used.[1]

The Camping Tours are the least expensive way to experience the destination, and are for travelers who don't mind roughing it a bit. Camping is most popular among students during their Gap Year. Campers stay in 2 person tents that are provided by Contiki and help in the preparation of meals. Mattresses are also provided but a sleeping bag and towel are necessary additions that the travelers must bring. [3]

The Budget Tours, also known as Concept Tours, are a less expensive way to see the destination without camping. Travelers who choose this tour stay in backpacker style accommodations and are able to meet many people. Travelers are usually put up in hostels or specialized Contiki Villages. Contiki Villages, also known as Contiki Special Stopovers, are specifically made for Contiki travelers and are manned by Contiki personnel. Many of the travelers are singles or students touring on a tight budget, but it is also common for couples to choose this tour. [4]

The Superior Tours are the most expensive of Contiki's tours. The main difference between the Superior Tours and the other two tours is that travelers stay in Superior Class Tourist Hotels. Superior Tours also include Regional Tours, In-Depth Regional Tours, and Cruising Tours. [5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "About Contiki". September 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-01. 
  2. ^ What really happens on a Contiki tour? by Alexandra Burnie, Herald Sun, 7 April 2014
  3. ^ "Camping Tours". September 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-01. 
  4. ^ "Concept/Budget Tours". September 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-01. 
  5. ^ "Time Out/Superior/Hotel Tours". September 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-01.