Despite a global pandemic, political upheaval, and economic inflation, European vacations continue to thrive, drawing travelers internationally to its diverse destinations.
According to a USTOA member survey, Italy remains a top “hot destination,” followed by Greece, France, the U.K., and Iceland. In terms of “off-the-beaten-path” countries, Iceland is number one; Croatia is also on the list, as well as Norway, which is a new entry this year.
“Europe is currently our number-one request for 2023,” Sandy Anderson, owner of agency the Sulit Experience, tells us. “Pent-up demand — people spending time at home dreaming of destinations they maybe hadn’t considered in the past — may have influenced this. Italy and Greece have always been high on the list, but clients want to visit more unique destinations; experience nature. They request hikes in Norway, northern lights viewing in Iceland, and sailing the Dalmatian Coast.”
In another survey by Allianz, the top two most popular international destinations remain in Mexico (Cancun and San Jose del Cabo), but the third is “across the pond” in London.
Allianz data shows that international travel for Americans during the holiday season accounts for 11 percent of its 3 million itineraries. Travelers looking toward spring showed London up 600 percent. With the dollar still strong internationally, travelers with pent-up desire to vacation internationally are finally booking — and taking — those trips.
Now through January 19, 2023, ALG Vacations is running its “Europe Cities and Seas” sale, offering savings on a portfolio of European hotels.
Clients with travel booked through December 15, 2023, can enjoy a discount of more than 40 percent through Apple Vacations, Funjet Vacations, Travel Impressions, or United Vacations. Additionally, United Vacations clients can save up to $200 on bookings that include roundtrip air with a promo code.
Even better, the ALGV Travel Protection Plus policy now includes a price guarantee on Europe travel. If the price of the hotel drops after a booking is confirmed, the reservation will be adjusted to reflect the lower price, upon request.
Promotions on gorgeous European destinations like the Canary Islands will have clients booking before the New Year, when they can save up to 20 percent at Secrets Lanzarote Resort and Spa or up to 33 percent at the Hyatt Regency in Amsterdam.
“This past year and into 2023, Europe not only has pent-up demand from travelers, but we have also had to rework many Europe trips [from previous years],” Anderson tells us. “Therefore, I see Europe being popular and trending even more into 2024.”
Deposits for Europe bookings with United Vacations have been reduced by $100 — from a $350 down payment to $250. Apple Vacations, Funjet Vacations, and Travel Impressions once required full air cost for travel to Europe but will require a down payment of only $350 (for bookings more than 45 days from departure).
Travel advisors can now earn full commission on all hotels in Europe; a policy already held by Travel Impressions, but one that has been extended to Apple Vacations, Funjet Vacations, and United Vacations. Advisors can also earn up to 15 percent commission on United Airlines business or first class flights with packaged vacations; other flight categories earn 10 percent.
Advisors can earn points through the ALGV WAVES rewards program on every Europe booking, eligible for use toward personal travel or redeemable for cash.
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