It’s that time of year when we talk about which destinations are trending for the new year, what’s hot, what’s new, what’s emerging, what’s tried and true. In our post-pandemic world, Europe is at the top of the list once again. Here are five great reasons to book your clients on European vacations in 2023.
1. Euro and dollar are on par.
After several years of watching the waning value of the U.S. dollar in international markets, the dollar has stabilized back on par with the euro. Travel advisors can help clients make the most of their vacation funds by suggesting trips to Europe. There is a sweeping range of types of travel in the region, suitable for families, couples, and solo travelers.
2. Mexico, the Caribbean, and Florida have become overpriced.
“For the past two years, the main regions that were open were Mexico and the Caribbean,” says Tom Varghese, owner, Travel Tom. “Clients are really looking for newer experiences for either a special trip (honeymoons, milestone birthdays, etc.) or family vacations. Also, the airfare to Mexico and the Caribbean has been sky-high. In some markets, for not much more, you can fly to Europe for the same price as flying to the Caribbean!”
As for Florida, the state “took advantage of the demand the last two years and became very overpriced,” notes Lindsay Smith, owner L&S Travel. “It was a safe place to travel. Now that Covid restrictions are pretty nonexistent and prices in Florida are still high, Europe is a great alternative.
“Western Europe is a great starting point for the family that hasn't traveled overseas before. Obviously, the UK and Ireland are great for those worried about language barriers. Italy is always a great destination for families - the food is amazing and affordable, and the history is entertaining for young children. And you have nice beaches where you can take a break for a couple days from the touring and crowds of Florence and Rome.
3. Europe stands the test of time.
Always admired and sought after, Europe is like the blushing bride that never loses her appeal. With gorgeous landscapes, paused-in-time villages, cosmopolitan cities, ancient roots, rich history, mouth-watering cuisine, and so much more, the region continues to be a traveler’s dream.
Mandee Migliaccio, CEO & travel specialist, Stepping Out Travel Services LLC, explains:
“Europe stands the test of time. Travelers can visit multiple times and never see the same site twice. Whether you are traveling for adventure, culture, beach, culinary, relaxation, shopping, history, and maybe a little of everything, Europe has it all!”
4. It’s easy to visit two or more countries in one trip.
Europe is a particularly appealing region in that so many countries are nestled close together, but each has its own distinctive cultures, cuisine, and history. Furthermore, the transit system between countries is relatively easy to navigate and inexpensive. As a whole, Europe is an expansive, eye-opening experience for many travelers, especially those venturing out from America.
“Every country provides a completely different experience. So, sometimes combining two or more countries on one trip will yield a wide range of cultural and unique experiences that the families will never forget,” says Varghese. “And families are looking for more cultural experiences for their kids (as opposed to just beach and waterparks).”
5. Pent-up demand for Europe has been unleashed.
Studies and surveys are interesting to note (and recent industry studies have shown a jump in European bookings), but the best measure of the marketplace is to hear about the everyday experiences of travel advisors.
“Our European sales this year were amazing! There was a lot of pent-up demand from last year, and folks this year were eager to get to Europe after delayed or canceled trips,” reports Varghese. “We also were planning to go to Greece in 2020 but ended up canceling and went this summer. For next year, we have already received a ton of inquiries and a decent amount of bookings, especially for the summer.”
At Migliaccio’s Stepping Out Travel, “European sales have been booming. We are up over 79%. It's truly a hot destination right now. We are projected to have more clients traveling to Europe in 2023 than 2022, and hopefully, the projection keeps rising for 2024.”
Smith notes that sales to Europe are “booming, Europe is on fire! With that said, we are seeing some challenges with availability and the price point is going much higher.”
The hottest European destinations - according to the travel advisors we spoke with - will be no surprise: Italy, Greece, France, Spain, Croatia, the UK, Ireland, and Germany.
We also hear that Portugal is quickly gaining momentum because of easy flights, affordability, unique attractions (wineries, history, beaches), and great culinary experiences. Majorca, Spain has also been named an up-and-coming spot to watch.
Whichever destination(s) they choose, most importantly, as Migliaccio happily reports, “Our clients are ready to explore Europe again.”
FROM THE SPONSOR:
Growing your knowledge, and your sales, is now easier thanks to ALG Vacations® new advisor specialist program ALGVPro. Empowering advisors to take their knowledge to the next level with interactive and easy-to-digest modules that let you learn at your leisure while providing you the foundation you need to succeed. Register now and get insider tips on VAX, ALGV brands, programs, and more.
With up to five continuing education unit (CEU) credits at the Travel Institute, discounted agent vacation rate, quarterly giveaways and more, the benefits you’ll realize when you become an ALGVPro are well worth your time. And with new content added regularly, you’ll never run out of new things to learn and earn — or ways to showcase your expertise. Boost your booking savvy and get certified as an ALGVPro today. Visit algvacations.com/algvpro and go from “I Don’t Know” to Pro!