Adventure World’s Caryn Young, general manager New Zealand and Neil Rodgers, managing director Adventure World’s Caryn Young, general manager New Zealand and Neil Rodgers, managing director

‘Midlife Amazers’

Travel agents who take a specialised approach to soft adventure are reaping the rewards, according to Adventure World managing director Neil Rodgers.

 

Rodgers is in Auckland this week and among other things has announced the promotion of Caryn Young from head of operations to general manager of Adventure World in New Zealand. He says that when Adventure World started nearly 40 years ago with an ‘adventure by destination’ approach, some people saw adventure as a ‘dirty word’ – especially in the 45 plus demographic. That has completely changed now. ‘Our definition of soft adventure is something you can do without any specific training. For some people that might mean a trip on Rocky Mountaineer – for someone else it might mean climbing Mt Kilimanjaro.’

 

He says Adventure World has identified Midlife Amazers – 40 years and plus age group, time poor executives who are looking for a trip that drives dinner table conversation, while the details are taken care of. ‘Travel agents now should be fostering and developing these people. By focusing on specialisation, agents are providing something that really can’t be bought on the internet or through the OTAs. It is a continuing trend to have an agent who specialises in Africa, or in expeditions, or Latin America.’ Rodgers says Adventure World’s approach is to concentrate on giving agents the training and the tools to maximise the opportunities of what can be ‘chunky bookings’. ‘How can you increase the dollar value per file, how can you present more value add-ons, what are the options?’ He says agents can also be confident that these clients will return. ‘We often see a pattern, where people book Europe, and then Canada and Alaska, then look at Africa and/or Latin America.’ 

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