From niche market to “bucket list” experience, Anzac Day has become big business for the Australian travel industry.
Dozens of new trips for Gallipoli and other battlefield locations have been released over recent weeks and many major tour companies are lining up for a slice of the action. Interest will only grow in the lead-up to the Anzac Day centenary in 2015, taking the sector further out of the realm of specialist operators and into the mass market.
“Many years ago, we were almost on our own [as a Gallipoli tour operator from Australia],” says the manager of battlefields tour specialist Boronia Travel Centre, Michelle Waller. ”I think there are a lot of people starting up and thinking ‘I can make some money here’, especially with 2015 coming up.”
Waller says the 2015 Anzac Day service at Gallipoli is likely to be attended by more than 15,000 people, limited only by space and safety precautions. Boronia Travel ‘s seven trips for 2015 are already fully booked and many Australians who want to go will miss out, Waller says.
For those looking for Anzac travel, the huge range of choices now available can mean plenty of research is required. Choices range from day trips and cheap backpacker packages to extensive war history trips, with plenty of compromises in between.
Some operators offer the dawn service at Gallipoli as part of a broader Turkey or Europe itinerary, while others offer… (click here to keep reading this article by Jane E. Fraser)