Peak to re-energise ‚Äústale” Gecko‚Äôs

Peak to re-energise ‚Äústale” Gecko‚Äôs
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The chief executive of Peak Adventure Travel Group has spoken of the need to re-energise its Gecko’s operation after admitting the brand had become “stale”.

Darrell Wade also revealed that its US-based Country Walkers brand, introduced into Australia earlier this year, had failed to make its mark.

But Peregrine enjoyed a successful year, partly off the back of upmarket spin-off Peregrine Reserve, while UK brand Exodus, also relatively new to the local market, has been “fantastically successful” as a stand alone operation, Wade said.

Exodus turnover has doubled over the past 12 months with “very substantial growth” expected again this year, Wade said.

Speaking to Travel Today, Wade revealed that he and Gecko’s management “collectively” thought the brand needed a push. A relaunch is planned for January, as revealed by Travel Today on October 3.

“Sometimes a brand starts to lose its energy and starts to become all things to all people. As a consequence it doesn’t become anything to anyone and I feel we just need to give it a bit more focus and tighten it up,” Wade explained. “We collectively thought Gecko’s had got a little stale.”

One of the key strategies will be to broaden the age range – as Peregrine and Gecko’s managing director Glenyce Johnson earlier revealed – with a particular aim to entice a younger demographic.

Most bookings come from the 25-35 age bracket but with a heavy skew to the upper level of that range.

“What Gecko’s don’t get much of is the 18 to 27 market,” Wade said. “It’s not going to be an 18 to 35 product but we do want to get more at the lower end of that age bracket. There will be more of a youth focus.”

Its marketing will change to reflect that strategy as it seeks to reinvigorate the business.

“Gecko’s has struggled a bit. It’s not dramatic but it’s not getting the growth that it should be getting. It’s on the wrong side of the ledger,” Wade said.

Peregrine, meanwhile, had “done well, helped by the launch of Reserve”.

“That has lifted the whole brand,” he said.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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