The figures do not yet make you dizzy, but they are darned promising, drawing an extension of a summer that promises to be radiant. A prospect likely to reassure professionals, initially forced to stop due to the health crisis, then greatly worried about the consequences of the war in Ukraine. If the first days of the conflict did indeed have a slight impact on bookings, that’s the end of it now. In France, they have never been so popular, marked by the return of European customers but also Americans. And on the side of tour operators “we are in the process of regaining our momentum of 2019, namely the reference year“, welcomes Nefaa Chelbi, the director of Voyageurs du Monde Marseille, the most important agency of the sign behind Paris.
Italy, Greece and Spain acclaimed
“We feel a real desire to travel among a frustrated clientele for more than two years, and who, after an unprecedented period of anxiety, want to have fun more than ever. As proof, she does not hesitate to add certain options, even if it means inflating her budget a little more, precisely to make the most of her vacation.“
On the side of TUI (Clubs Lookéa and Marmara, Nouvelles Frontières), the observation is no different “with reservations close to the peaksconfirms Frédéric Blanc, regional director for the South of the group “and which, in fact, started very early this year.” “We were also surprised by the success of the Early booking operation. Launched in December, we had to stop it in January and continued it until Februaryhe explains, specifying in passing “that people have resumed their pre-Covid habits, blocking their stay 3 to 6 months in advance and that some hotel clubs, out of the 53 that we count across the planet, were already full for the month of August.“
In terms of destinations, Southern Europe, a safe haven from the eternal, because it is legitimately considered “safe”, takes the lion’s share and the United States and Canada are making a comeback. “We are witnessing a real explosion of requests for Italy, recognizes Nefaa Chelbi with personalized tours on the Amalfi Coast, in Sicily, in Puglia, or in the region of the lakes. Then, Spain, Portugal know a real plebiscite, just like Greece.“
Greece precisely “it is, with us and without great surprise, the star of the summer. It alone represents 40% of our sales” reveals for his part the regional director of TUI, who owns with Marmara and Lookéa about fifteen clubs (Rhodes, Crete, Peloponnese, Corfu …) and hopes “reach the 100,000 passenger mark. An ambitious goal certainly but not unrealistic, especially since we have just entered into a partnership with Aegean Airlines which provides connections from many provincial airports, starting with Marseille-Provence.“
And why not Asia?
With all these facts in mind, it is therefore better not to wait too long now if you want to spread out your towel on an Aegean beach, offer yourself a sangria for an aperitif on the side of Andalusia or be amazed by Amalfi or Positano. “Good plans and offering addresses of choice to which our customers are accustomed, it will be difficult to find“, admits the head of VDM and even putting the price on it, which in parentheses, inflation forces combined “to our concern to compensate our partners and service providers at their fair value“, overall increased “by 10%/15%” and even “30% for Italy.”
Hence, and this is even one of the brand’s philosophies, the desire to go against the “trends” and to offer “to our customers who often have precise specifications, namely a desire for nature, culture, heritage, the unusual (etc.), but no precise destinations to dig up for them.”
And to continue: “If Tanzania, Central America, Polynesia or even the United Arab Emirates have worked well this winter, why not head for Asia again? All the restrictions are being lifted and the level services that can be found in Indonesia, Thailand, Laos or Cambodia, for example, is of a quality that has no equivalent elsewhere. And on the budget side, you will not spend more by going to the Gulf of Siam or Bali than in some European regions.”
It now remains to convince a public “still marked” by border closures decided overnight and therefore always cautious to cross the planet.
“It’s true that if people have now learned to live with covid, feel reassured in Europe, come and come back more and more to our club hotels, they still have some apprehensions about taking long-haul flights. notes Frédéric Blanc. “The circuits of Nouvelles Frontières, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, in Iceland, Ireland or Italy, work very well. But in fact, in Asia, it is a little more complicated, despite very good prices“. The arguments put forward by the various TOs may be able to bend the curve…
We wish to give thanks to the writer of this write-up for this outstanding content
For this summer, tourism is starting very strong!