So now, here we are, 60 years later. From one battered minivan to 300+ trips in 6 continents. Since John’s inaugural adventure, we’ve brought together millions (!) of young travellers together and shown them the world.
And though John is no longer involved with Contiki, he’s clearly proud of how far the brand has come, and how the vibe has remained the same.
In a recent interview he said, “It’s all about people. The real highlight for me is whenever I see a Contiki coach pass me by, anywhere in the world, full of young people having fun. I always look up and wave.
It’s that feeling of accomplishment that I’ve been responsible for giving so many young people the most incredible experience. In many ways it’s the highlight of my life.
People come up and say ‘I’d like you to meet my husband or my wife.’ They met on tour. They get emotional. I get emotional. They were total strangers. Their daughter’s travelled Contiki. It’s almost like a secret club that’s worldwide. People say ‘I’m going on a Contiki’. Brands come on the market every day but only a few last the test of time.”
Truer words have never been said, John. We’re proud to continue your legacy as we look to the next 60 years of social travel. (We don’t think we’ll be betting trip money in Monte Carlo, though. We like to think we’ve got this social travel stuff on lock by now).
Wanna join us for our 60th birthday party? Think: you, dozens of other travellers, a 16th Century Chateau, pool parties, nightclubs and all the Beaujolais wine you can drink. See you there in summer?