For first time, young millennials have their own dedicated option for adventure. Geckos Adventures, which is part of Intrepid Group and known for its small-group style of sustainable experience-rich travel, is now the first tour company to focus operations solely on the under 30 crowd. In 2017, all of their trips will open only to travelers ages 18 to 29, down from a previous age cap of 39.
The change comes to meet the desire of Geckos’ youngest travelers, who expressed that they were looking for a genuine youth product that enabled them to travel with like-minded people of their own age. Along with the age change, Geckos Adventures has introduced 20 brand new trips in 2017 that will cater to youth who are seeking grassroots cultural experiences and adventure. These include treks to Everest Base Camp and tours throughout North America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Intrepid Group’s Managing Director James Thornton, 35, says that this is a strategic move to invest in and grow the youth market with the company’s small-group style of sustainable experience-rich travel. “This move is not about big bus tours and party trips in Europe; it’s about transforming Geckos into a brand that provides the next generation of travelers with a responsible small group alternative,” says Thornton. “While there are other travel brands with age limits, there is nobody offering a dedicated youth product to travelers who want an authentic experience that gives back to the places they visit and people they meet.”
According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), youth travel is one of the fastest growing sectors in tourism, representing 23 percent of more than one billion international tourists each year. Millennials along with Gen Z, who will soon age into the Geckos target market, are known for their socially-conscious, authentic and pragmatic approach to travel, giving experiences higher importance than material goods.
In partnership with Friends-International, a leading social enterprise with the goal of saving lives and building futures for marginalized kids and young people worldwide, Geckos will make a contribution for every trip booked with the goal of providing more young people with training in a range of vocations to contribute toward ending the cycle of poverty.
Geckos has also reduced the deposit to only $100 per person per trip to help reduce barriers to booking and have increased the number of departures for each itinerary. They also recently announced a Gap Year trip to Asia where the company will contribute $500 toward a student’s college tuition.
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