Geckos Adventures has confirmed it will no longer welcome travellers outside the 18-39 age bracket on its tours, even though the move is likely to hit its bottom line in the short term.
The company, part of the Intrepid Group, has always positioned itself as a youth product but the move represents the first time all Geckos-operated trips will be exclusive to 18 to 39 year olds.
From the new brochure season, it will be “making it clear” that trips are now only suitable for those that fall into this age group, general manager Steve Wroe told Travel Today.
However, he admitted that, although the average age of a Gecko’s customer is 27, in 2013 around 25% of Geckos customers fell outside the 18-39 age bracket.
Nonetheless, he is confident that the loss of such a large chunk of business will not damage the brand going forward.
“Geckos is taking a long term approach to this,” he said.
“We’re confident that a stronger brand alignment with a youth-only focused product will attract and build on the 18-39 year old demographic in the medium to long term.”
Customers who do not meet the age criteria will be “strongly encouraged” to book an Intrepid Basix trip in order to retain their business.
“The Basix range is similar to Geckos in that there is a lot of free time, fewer inclusions and good price points,” Wroe said.
He stressed that product will remain the same, with the age focus the only change.