Travel writer Joshua Williams explores the reasons behind the collapse if the infamous ‘party holiday’
Club 18-30, the brand that bought the infamous ‘party holiday’ to over 100,000 young British people has officially come to an end. Despite bringing in £48m in sales each year, the brand has officially ceased to be after a rise in young people turning to more photogenic and cultural destinations.
With the slogan ‘It’s go big or go home and only the legendary will do,’ Club 18-30 spent decades specialising in trips to party hotspots such as Magaluf, Malia, Zante and Ayia Napa. Now however, in part due to the rise in popularity of social media, especially sites such as Instagram, young people are increasingly exposed to once unknown locations leading to a large influx of city breaks and cultural travel.
Speaking to the Guardian, Ingo Burmester, UK Chief Executive of the tour operator stated that the brand no longer fits in with their wider programme. He goes on to say, ‘having taken the summer to explore our options we have, in the absence of a viable alternative that makes sense for Thomas Cook or the brand, decided that Club 18-30 will close at the end of this season.’ The fact that Thomas Cook were unable to attract a suitable buyer only emphasises the outdated nature of the Club 18-30 brand.
We are now deep into an era where have more choice of travel destinations than ever before. The diversification of options has led to an increase in young people seeking specialist trips. With 16-24 year olds in Britain ‘less likely to drink than any other age group’ the idea of the party holiday has officially lost its appeal. With the loss of Club 18-30 brings the opportunity for young people to travel to countless new countries and with it experience cultures far superior to the typical bar crawl.
A rise in destinations inevitably comes with the question of how to stay safe overseas – especially in countries culturally opposite to Britain. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have curated leading travel information specific in its appeal and accessibility to young people but, due to the death of the package holiday, it now rests on their shoulders to utilise this.
Partly due to Club 18-30, young British holiday makers have gained a reputation in Europe for their alcohol-fueled party antics; often resulting in intervention by the relevant authorities. Last year, in Spain alone, 1,317 Brits were arrested according to British Foreign and Commonwealth Office figures, largely in part due to alcohol – something synonymous with the brand. As Thomas Cook attempts to distance itself from the reputation gained by Club 18-30, it has become apparent that young British travelers must also improve their image due to its legacy.
Make sure that you do your research on the laws and customs of the places you’re travelling to, especially if it’s somewhere you’ve not been to before. You can find safety specific travel advice at https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and a wealth of information on over 200 countries at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.