Contiki adds adventure tours for '99

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. -- Contiki Holidays added a series of adventure tours to its 1999 Australia and New Zealand product. They can be mixed and matched with Contiki's escorted tours or purchased on their own.

Contiki, whose programs are geared to ages 18 to 35, offers 14 different Down Under escorted tours next year, with no changes in the product from 1998.

The eight new Adventure Plus Tours range from Camel & Canyon (five days of four-wheel drives and camping in Australia's Northern Territory) to a five-day package exploring New Zealand's Fijordland.

The most expensive is the 10-day Tropical Multisport Adventure, which includes sailing, cycling and four-wheel-drive and snorkeling excursions in Queensland for a land price of $1,125.

The lowest priced is the three-day Great Barrier Reef Diving Adventure, starting at $279.

Lorraine Sharp, Contiki's vice president of sales and marketing, said the soft-adventure tours were added because of demand. "All the surveys show that more young people want active vacations," she said.

Unlike Contiki's escorted tours, which use motorcoaches and usually have a maximum of 50 people, the adventure tours have a maximum of 13 participants. They are run by local operators except for one -- a seven-day New Zealand South Island cycle tour, which is operated by Contiki.

The new tours take up one quarter of Contiki's new 44-page brochure.

There is a new mix-and-match section, offering discounts on multiple tours.

Contiki also offers a new Fiji stopover package -- a five-day sailing adventure starting at $475.

According to Sharp, the most popular escorted tour is the 15-day Beaches & Reefs, from Sydney to Cairns.

Contiki also has a four-day Sydney package, starting at $169 and designed to be combined with other tours.

Several brochure pages promote Countdown to 2000 -- the year of the Sydney Olympics and Auckland's America's Cup.

Departure dates and pricing for both escorted and adventure tours go through March or April 2000.

Air New Zealand is Contiki's participating carrier.

Contiki Holidays, Phone: (800) CONTIKI

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