By Nahrain John @karryontravel08 Sep 2016New food, new trips, new destinations AND a new website – Contiki has just rolled out a whole heap of changes and they’re ‘so MUNCH’. Oh, that’s not the word Gretchen Wieners used in Mean Girls? Well, it’s what she probably would have used if the film were set in 2016 and ‘The Plastics’ were a group of millennials looking to take a Contiki trip. The tour operator unveiled a whole lot of changes last night at its third annual Contiki Legends party held at Carriageworks in Sydney. Managing Director, Katrina Barry, told attendees that the new experiences and offerings were in line with the wants and travel desires of today’s youth. So what are these changes? Here’s a breakdown of what to expect from Contiki in 2017/18: 1. Guests will be MUNCH-ing on new food 🇮🇹🍦#Contiki travel blog editor, @ginnycopestake making her way through Verona, #Italy. What better way to cool down during the Italian summer than a gelato from one of the best places in the world to eat ice cream: Italy. #sorrynotsorry A post shared by Contiki (@contiki) on Aug 1, 2016 at 9:11pm PDT Setomania aka food obsession was highlighted as the number one trend amongst youth travellers during Contiki’s latest round of research. According to Barry, while foodie travel is not a new trend, it’s definitely still one of the biggest amongst under 35s in 2017. To meet the growing demand, the tour operator has unveiled a new foodie itinerary called ‘MUNCH’, which focuses on giving its guests the ultimate foodie experience in Europe with cooking classes, wine tasting and shopping in local markets with local chefs. “Think pasta sauce with Nonna.” Katrina Barry, Contiki Managing Director The tour operator has also recruited ‘Surfing the Menu’ hosts Hayden Quinn and Dan Churchill to host the special itinerary. 2. But that’s just the entrée, this is the main Source: winelab.dk That one itinerary isn’t Contiki’s only plan to fill its guests cravings, the tour operator is completely rethinking the food across several itineraries. Working with a MasterChef from Denmark, Thomas Castberg, Contiki pants to roll out a “new way of doing food”, which will incorporate more local flavours, local dining traditions and more. “MUNCH is everything Contiki offers when it comes to great food.” Thomas Castberg, MasterChef from Denmark “We want to make sure everyone that travels with Contiki will get this great local food experience.” 3. There’s Limited Edition trips Barry describes them as “unique, niche and verging on hipster”. They’re the Contiki Limited Edition Summer Series itineraries that travel with only 25 people in each group, offer ‘fancy pancy” accommodation and have ‘expert’ hosts. The MUNCH itinerary mentioned above is an example of one of these Limited Edition trips, as is the new SNAP itinerary designed for “phonographers [people who use their phones to take photos] who want to up their Gram game”. During the 12-day trip, these expert offer tips on how to take the perfect pictures and Instagram shots. 4. And new Europe itineraries The new Europe program is packed with 21 new and improved itineraries, this is in addition to the existing 142 already available. In 2017, travellers can expect more options in Greece, especially around Greek Week, and the Adriatic. 5. As well as new destinations Outside of Europe, Contiki continues its expansion in Asia with the addition of two new countries – Malaysia and Singapore. 6. Plus how cool is this new website Contiki Nerds have launched a new website for Agents and consumers that according to Barry, will take personalisation to the next level. “It will know what you or your customers next bucket list travel item is. It’s so intuitive it will know what you had for breakfast,” she said. Do Contiki’s changes sound ‘so munch’ to you? Other stories you may like BARCELONA: TOUR OPERATORS WILL NOT SUSPEND UPCOMING VISITS WHERE ARE ALL THE LOCALS? 10 CITIES WHERE TOURISTS OUTNUMBER NATIVES IS THIS THE ULTIMATE FLY AND CRUISE OFFER IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND?