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Travels From New Zealand

John Anderson

Founder of Contiki Tours and passionate speaker

John Anderson founded Contiki Holidays in 1961. His is a remarkable story told with humour and emotion from the man himself. As a young New Zealander, Anderson set foot in London to embark on a journey to Europe, this trip would change John’s life forever. John did not to return to New Zealand for another 20 years.

This amazing business success all came to life, from Anderson not wanting to travel alone, he didn’t have a lot of money – 25 pounds to be exact, and so he came up with a plan of attack.

Making a deposit on a minibus, John gathered a group of people to travel with and spent twelve weeks exploring Europe together, sharing costs and having a wonderful time. At the end of the trip, John tried to sell the minibus but there were no willing buyers, so Anderson decided to advertise his Europe trip again in the spring of 1962.

Fortuitously, John was able to fit two trips into the summer season and instantaneously doubled his business, and Contiki Holidays was “born” and thrived from there.

The initial tours were all booked by 19-29 year olds, so right from the start Contiki was all about the youth travel market. Under the guidance and leadership of John Anderson, Contiki grew into an internationally known brand and was sold a few years ago as one of the world's major tour operators, carrying over 100,000 passengers a year.

John is a remarkably motivating speaker with his story told with an honest account of his successes, huge gambles and mistakes that were made along his journey. It is heartfelt and emotional, sharing laughter and tears and the ups and downs or of making something from nothing.

Enquire about John Anderson to speak at your next event