Chimu Adventures, which operates tours in South America and Antarctica, seems to have found a winning formula for these trying economic times. For the first quarter of 2009, revenue shot 310 percent higher relative to the same quarter last year.
These types of excursion aren’t cheap, so why are travelers still shelling out their hard-earned cash for such high-end experiences? Company directors Greg Carter and Chad Carey cite the value offered, “Travelers are looking to save money in these uncertain times yet still want a high quality tourism product. This is where the internet becomes a very important tool and we have seen a growing trend towards online sales. This confirms our belief that the days of high street traditional travel agents are numbered and innovation and specialization is the key to their future growth.”
Low-cost airfares from Australia (Chimu’s core market) to South America have sparked a lot of interest in these deals, as well, “We have regularly seen return airfares to Buenos Aires and Santiago for Aud$1400, Aud$1300 and even as low as $1100 which was just unthinkable a year ago.” And, it’s a shorter flight than Europe or the United States. “People will still always want to go travelling, even in these tough times but are looking for shorter and more affordable alternatives.”