John Anderson

The Creator of Contiki Holidays

John Anderson founded Contiki Holidays in London in 1962 because, at the age of 22, he wanted to travel Europe but didn't have enough money. Under John Anderson's leadership, Contiki became an internationally recognised brand, one of the world's leading tour operators and the largest operator to specifically cater to the 18-35 year old market.

John Anderson's incredible story of creating Contiki is inspirational, humorous and educational. An accomplished and erudite speaker, John's presentations cover his successes and failures, offering valuable insights into Contiki's initial and continued success that are truly enlightening, entertaining and jam packed full of personal and business messages. Ideal for any occasion, John is able to tailor his presentation to suit any audience.

About John Anderson:

Kiwi, John Anderson's first Tiki Tour (subsequently named Contiki) departed London in a minibus on 29th April 1962. After a couple of hugely successful trips, John Anderson tried to sell his minibus to buy his airfare home, only to discover no-one wanted it. So in the spring of 1963 he advertised the trip again. This time, he fitted two trips into the summer season and Contiki Holidays was born.

When John sold the Company a few years ago it was one of the world's leading tour operators (the largest catering for 18-35 year olds) It had a fleet of coaches, resorts, villas, chateaux, boats etc, run by a worldwide staff of 700 and firmly established as an international 'brand' name. To date two million young people have traveled Contiki.

John Anderson went on to conceive a major fund raising opportunity in 1994. The Ellerslie Flower Show became the largest gardening and outdoor event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere showcasing the best of New Zealand's horticulture, floral and landscape design. The show attracted over 100,000 visitors in its first year. Today John Anderson continues as a management consultant and entrepreneur.

John has written a book on one of the great untold Australasian business success stories - The Contiki story - entitled ‘Only Two Seats Left!'

In addition he has started a new Company catering for the ‘Baby Boomers' - Tours to South America!!

In 2012, John was recognized in the New Zealand New Year's Honours list by being made a ‘Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit' (MNZM).

John Anderson talks about: 

  • The Contiki Story
  • Sales and Marketing: 
  • The Essential Tools of Business
  • Company and Product Branding
  • Turning Your Passion into a Business

Client testimonials

Blew everyone away….He’s great….Nice guy…Everyone had tears in their eyes…Gave it everything.

Coca-Cola Australia

Heart felt, emotional, touched people, connected with the audience, received standing ovation. Loved him.

Tourism New Zealand

John Anderson was spell binding ... As John Anderson unfolded his story and explained the lessons, you could have heard a pin drop. Within hours of the event we were flooded with thankyou emails from our guests congratulating us on our choice of speaker. John was motivating, funny and adventurous with a fascinating story to tell. The real take home gift from this event was not in their goodies bag, it was the gift of inspiration from John Anderson.

Burnie Airport Corporation

John Anderson is truly an amazing man and what a fabulous story! The audience loved it and he was by far the best speaker we have heard in the last 5 years! Highly recommend him to all.

Bridges Financial Services

John spoke so freely, totally relatable and people hung on every word. His story has touched so many people. He was interesting, passionate and very funny. So many people have given us positive feedback of John. Perfect choice for our occasion

PFERD-Australia Pty Ltd

John was absolutely amazing and received very positively – many of our delegates said he was the highlight of the conference

Tourism and Events Queensland