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Presenter Profile - JOHN ANDERSON MNZM
Travels from   Auckland
Based   Auckland
Type   Speaker, Consultant
Style   Humorous, Inspiring, Highly credible

With a passion for travel and just 25 pounds, John Anderson found a way to see Europe and the iconic adventure travel company CONTIKI was born!

After studying for an accounting degree, John Anderson set off to the UK from New Zealand at 22 yrs on his big OE. He planned to stay for about 12 months and returned home some 20 years later with his wife and four children and an international business – Contiki Holidays. After a few months in London John Anderson’s desire to see Europe was overwhelming but he didn’t have the money so with just 25 Pounds he found a way to not only see Europe but start his own business.

When John eventually sold the company it was, and remains, one of the world’s major tour operators. Contiki is now firmly established as an international brand name and has been a household name in NZ, Australia and Canada with an estimated 1.6 million passengers already travelled with Contiki.

Subsequently, as a member of the Auckland Rotary Club John Anderson conceived the idea of a major fundraising opportunity. This became The Ellerslie Flower Show and it is now established as the largest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

John travelled to London and met the Chelsea Flower Show organisation who assisted him with the development of the NZ show – John Anderson was the CEO of the event for the first year.

A change of lifestyle found John and his family moving to Marlborough and mid 2010 they moved to Auckland where John continues to work as a management consultant and speaker.   He has now published his book "Only Two Seats Left" which tells the "Contiki" journey and he's also started a new company catering for Baby Boomers Tours to South America.    In the 2012 New Year Honours John was awarded MNZM recognising his excellent services to tourism.

More recently John has made a number of presentations about his incredible story – how he developed a simple idea into one of the world’s major tour operators; his determination to succeed, the belief in himself, his successes and failures. He's an extremely passionate speaker and his story is full of extremely funny and sad anecdotes which have a marked effect on the emotions of his audience - it can also be tailored to meet individual requirements.

Entrepreneurial Ventures:

  • Began Contiki began in 1962 and sold 28 years later in 1989 operated extensive coach tour operations in : Europe , America Canada , Australia and New Zealand.
  • Built and owned 2 resort hotels in Whitsundays, Australia (250 rooms) and Queenstown NZ (150 rooms).

Including Ownership of:

  • 15th Century French Chateaux (Lyon)
  • Dutch Manor House (Noordgouwe, Holland)
  • 55-berth Greek Schooner (Athens)
  • 180 bed Lodge (Queenstown, NZ)
  • Pudding Hill Resort (Methven, NZ)
  • Motor camps and log cabins

Including Leases of:

  • 13th Century Italian Villa (Florence)
  • German & Scottish Castles, Austrian Chalets, Irish Farm
  • Houses, a Rhine Cruiser, and Mansion in New Orleans USA .

Established an international brand name and company offices in Hong Kong, Sydney, Auckland, Toronto, Los Angeles and London;

  • Employed 700 staff
  • Had a turnover of $150 million
  • Carried 50,000 passengers annually (currently 100,000)
  • In total 1.6 million passengers have travelled Contiki



John Anderson was a guest speaker at our recent Conference in Fiji.  John has a great story to tell and conveys both the challenges and rewards experienced through his highly successful career.  We received a lot of great feedback about John’s presentation, people felt really inspired by his story and he reminded them of what they can achieve with perseverance, hard work and a good dose of risk taking.
Julia Dunn - ITM

"On behalf of Telecom Senior Management and all of the Telecom Retail Sales channel, I would just like to extend a HUGE thank you for your incredible speech. You absolutely nailed it. It was exactly the messaging we were after to inspire and motivate our Sales Managers. What a story you have! Your passion, your wisdom, your initiative, your business techniques are something that came through very loud and clear, and I know the attendees all got a lot out of what you had to say. PERFECT!"
Rebecca Davidson - Telecom 

“Blew everyone away…John Anderson is great…Nice guy…Everyone had tears in their eyes…Gave it everything…his presentation was spot on the objective…seemed to understand the brief perfectly”
Coca-Cola Australia

“Heart felt, emotional, touched people, connected with the audience, received standing ovation. People swarmed him afterwards. Genuine. Passionate, Loved him”
Tourism New Zealand        

Delegates enjoyed John’s presentation hugely!  Comments were “Amazing!”, “Inspirational!”, “Brilliant”, “Best Speaker”… John’s presentation was inspirational and entertaining but peppered with good business messages.
NZ Marine Industry Association                          

“Excellent, amazing, very personable and sincere. Was almost the star of the whole Conference”
NZ Motor Trade Assn

"Extremely well received by the audience, did his research and fine-tuned his address which had tremendous relevance, delivered powerful messages to a diverse mix of professionals and academics, he has a great sense of humour, outstanding!"
CPA Australia


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