Local student recalls speedboats, sunsets and sensible drinking in Zante

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New research from BMC Health suggests that non-drinking and sensible drinking is becoming more widespread in 16-24 year olds. Changes to norms around drinking, a lessening of the stigma attached to non-drinking and later initiation into alcohol have been cited by the authors as possible reasons for the reduction in drinking in young people. But what about when those young people head off for their first clubbing holiday, are they still so restrained?

Surprisingly, yes, says Alex Dudeney, 23, a post graduate of the University of Sussex who worked for clubbing holiday brand Party Hard Travel in Zante over the summer.

“When I went out to Zante, I was expecting proper drunken messes every night. But it really wasn’t like that. Guests were mainly 18-20 years old and more interested in making memories with their mates than having nights out that they didn’t remember.”

“We had groups of friends who had just finished their A Levels, and were about to go off to different unis. They wanted to go to the amazing club nights that were part of their Ultimate Events Package, or to hire a speedboat to watch the sunset on shipwreck beach. Yeah, there would be drinking but it wasn’t like a few years ago when drinking was the sole focus.”

At 23, Alex has had his fair share of clubbing holidays, going away each year with his friends from the ages of 18-22.

“I’d been to Zante in 2014 and saw a rep working, and I thought it looked unbelievably fun. So when the chance came to work for Party Hard Travel, I couldn’t fill in the online application fast enough. But even from 2014, things have changed so much. I maybe had 1 or 2 groups over the whole summer who were a bit rowdy, the rest were really chilled. It’s like the new generation of 18-20 year olds just have this more mature, calmer outlook.”

Party Hard Travel are one of the leading providers of clubbing holidays for young people, and have experienced triple digit growth for the last three years in a market that has seen Thomas Cook recently announce that it is pulling the plug on its famous Club 18-30 brand.

“It’s sad to see such a famous brand like Club 18-30 closing down, but they are right when they say that young people have changed in what they want from a holiday. Party Hard Travel have moved the focus from sales to service, and onto creating the best possible events packages which we include for free with every holiday booking. That’s why we are able to keep on growing as a brand.” said Head of Sales and Marketing at Party Hard Travel Nathan Cable.

This focus on service means that the traditional ‘rep’ job is having a makeover too, re-styled as the more customer friendly resort host.

“I thought that working in resort would just be 24 hour partying, but there’s so much admin to do like arranging the club nights and letting venues know how many guests to expect for events. It also teaches you a lot about yourself. I mean, I thought I was really outgoing until I had to stand up and do my first meeting but you soon get into the swing of it.”

“I think people are sometimes put off going on a party holiday or working as a resort host thinking it’ll be crazy. But the atmosphere is definitely changing, we’re heading into a new era of clubbing holiday.”

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