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There’s a real cute story behind why Contiki is called Contiki

A woman is solo travelling on top of a hill overlooking the ocean.

What’s in a name? Well as it turns out quite a lot, especially when it comes to yours truly…

In 1961, a guy called John Anderson founded Contiki in New Zealand. Whilst later bought by The Travel Corporation, the tour company had already been using the name ‘Contiki’ since its inception.

Word on the street is that the name is actually two words: ‘Con’ and ‘Tiki’.

The first part, ‘Con’ is a shortened form of ‘Continent’, as a nod to the brand’s mission to connect travellers to all the continents of the world.

‘Tiki’ on the other hand, pays homage to the New Zealand heritage of our brand, and the name for a Maori good luck charm.

Combine the two and you’ve got CONTIKI!

a hill in new zealand

A simple little story but one with a lot of ties to who we are more than 50 years later. We still send young travellers to amazing destinations and anyone who travels can tell you how lucky that makes them feel.

As old mate William Shakespeare says, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, so while the origin behind Contiki’s name is cool, it’s really what we do that makes us iconic.


A couple on a Contiki trip hugging on top of a hill overlooking the city in Croatia.