YTP, Contiki Network With Humber Students


Students from Humber College gathered in downtown Toronto yesterday (Nov. 5) for the inaugural edition of the Young Travel Professional’s “Speed Networking” event, co-sponsored by Contiki Holidays.

Energy in the room was high as attendees rotated from table to table in four-minute intervals, connecting with YTP and Contiki members seated at each station.

The innovative approach allowed each student the opportunity to connect with established members of the Toronto travel industry, an important move in an evening with an emphasis on mentorship.
As Brad Ford, Contiki president, touched upon in his keynote address, mentorship is an important part of career building for Millennials, many of whom aim to grow their careers in a digital age marked by a lack of person to person connection.

Ford also stated that young professionals should “understand the shadow they cast,” exhorting students to be aware of how they’re different – and to be confident in the unique skill-set they bring to an expanding industry.

The Millennial difference has never been more distinct than in the current trend of travel patterns. Zach Vanasse, membership manager for YTP, states that a “willingness and desire to understand and engage” with local cultures is endemic to the Millennial market, with travellers seeking out trips with “social conscience, sustainability and responsible travel at the forefront.”

Nowhere is this more evident than with Contiki Holidays, whose Contiki Care program focuses on social and environmental responsibility, as well as giving back to the communities in which it operates. A few lucky students will experience the Contiki difference in person – Humber College freshman Natasha Taylor won a Contiki credit worth $250, and grand prize winner Mariandreina Vasquez received a $400 credit towards a Contiki trip of her choice.
By introducing Humber College students to their future industry colleagues and encouraging the establishment of mentorships between students and young travel professionals, the YTP networking event succeeded in creating lasting connections between the growing crop of young Millennials posed to make the leap from traveller to travel professional, and the older Millennials who so frequently serve as their guides and mentors in the rapidly-changing world of the modern travel industry.

Pictured above, the Contiki team (l-r) of Adam Bobawsky, BDM; Erica Adelson, PR & Digital Media Specialist; Brad Ford, president; Cara Bogdanski, sales centre manager; Jenni Berg, regional business development executive.

Pictured below: YTP team (l-r) Zach Vanasse, social media manager, Melissa Medeiros, public relations, Michael McCreesh, Mentor Program, and Adam Hodge, marketing.


Pictured below, Contiki prize winners (l-r) Stephanie Freed-Burns, Matthew Giles, Alicia Fricker, Mariandreina Vasquez and Natasha Taylor.