Eurobound reports that its travel agent sales in Europe are up 15 percent year over year, with major growth coming from smaller metro areas in the Midwest, Southwest and South.
Affluent, repeat clients to Europe will skirt the major capitals in favor of lesser-known destinations in 2018, Eurobound said. The company said it sees a decided trend toward six main destinations:
- Croatia & Montenegro
“We’re seeing interest, too, in Spain, Portugal, and Central Europe. And, we will be adding more Russia and Lapland in 2018,” said Jeff Roy, Eurobound’s VP marketing sales, in a written release.
Among new itineraries will be:
- 7 -day private guided exploration of South Iceland, including private super jeep tours to Fjlallbacka, Lakagigar, and Skafltafell, plus a glacier kayaking adventure.
- 12-day “Discover Croatia” package starting in Zagreb and ending in Dubrovnik, with private transfers, visits to Plitvice Lakes National Park, Blue & Green cave in the Pakleni Islands, walking tours, and cable car to Mt. Srd.
- 8-day deluxe trip to Ireland with private driver guide, visiting Killarney, Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty village and castle, Dublin, and Giant’s Causeway.
- 10-day wine tour of Spain with private driver, including customized walking tours in Madrid, winery visits and tastings in Ribera Del Duero and Rioja, plus city tour of Bilbao.
- “A Different British Experience,” 13 days beginning in London and ending in Edinburgh, with private tours, plus a private car at disposal in London.
“While the major capitals will still be popular, up to one-third of our travel agents tell us their clients want to concentrate on lesser-visited areas. These are affluent, repeat travelers who have already been to the major capitals and who want a more in-depth look at Europe. They want to discover the Europeans’ Europe, eat in local restaurants and visit less-frequented villages and towns,” said Roy.
Other Trends: Adventure and Concierge Planning Define Luxury
Active, outdoor activities, as well as opportunities to get out into nature, along with incorporating eco-friendly alternatives such as stays in “green” hotels or travel by electric cars instead of conventional autos, are other trends, Eurobound reports.
“The new definition of luxury is in the experience. An adventure in Lapland, even though the accommodations may be more rustic, defines luxury today as much as staying in a 5-star hotel. Today’s affluent traveler wants hand-crafted experiences, and concierge-type planning,” notes Roy.