Worldwide news about New Deal Europe, press releases and webinar video clips.
31 March 2021 (updated)
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Travel Weekly UK:
Pent up demand, booking surges, successful vaccination roll outs and high personal savings are all contributing to the UK and US markets being the primary focus for the tourism restart, according to speakers at New Deal Europe’s Destination and Media Summit this week.
Tourism boards in the Balkans region were invited to a ‘meet the media’session to hear from senior travel journalists about consumer sentiment in the source markets and the preparedness of the destinations to receive visitors.
Robert Dee, co-founder of New Deal Europe, introduced the session with a call to tourism boards to update their marketing plans to take account of recent developments. He stated that these plans were formulated in 2020 as countries were entering the second wave of the pandemic, and were based on their results in 2020, which were driven by domestic tourism and visitors from neighbouring countries. However the vaccination success in the US and in particular the UK, which has seen one third of the population vaccinated, principally in the over 55’s who are time and money rich with a high propensity for travel, should now be the focus of everyone’s attention. Flights are opening up, new routes are announced almost daily to destinations which have said they will welcome British visitors and each new positive announcement leads to a surge in bookings, so he asked if there was a disconnect between plans and current reality.
His analysis was given weight by two speakers from the UK, Katie McGonagle, Features and Supplements Editor of Travel Weekly UK, and Lee Hayhurst, editor of Travolution, who both reiterated how positive news is driving demand. McGonagle gave a detailed overview of the UK Government’s ‘Roadway Out of Lockdown’which itself resulted in a spike in holiday bookings as soon as it was announced on 22nd February. She highlighted 12th April as a key date as this is when some accommodation units can reopen and when the Travel Taskforce reports to the government on progress and, it is hoped, will confirm 17th May as the day that travel abroad can resume.
“What we are seeing is that a little bit of certainty leads to a lot more interest, and countries like Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Spain and Portugal, who are keen to accept British Travellers with a vaccine or a test certificate, help to reinforce confidence in the UK” she said. “Consumer sentiment moves very quickly at the moment, and there is a real opportunity for the Balkan region as people may not be able to get to their usual destination. It can get better known in the UK market, as it is still relatively undiscovered.”
She encouraged Tourism boards to engage with the travel media and with travel agents, who lack product knowledge on the region but are able to still do training during furlough. She cited figures showing that 49% of people aged over 50 are planning to use a travel agent this year, compared with 36% who did so in 2020,as evidence that fighting for refunds for cancelled travel last year has driven the consumer towards booking through agents.
Indeed bookings have already started and 21% of bookings made in the first week of March are for June, July and August this year, while 49% of bookings are for 2022 and 2023. McGonagle advised “there is absolutely an opportunity to capture that market, get people in over the Summer, but also take a slightly longer term view and look ahead to 2022 and 2023.” The New Deal Europe Marketplace on 12th April is perfectly placed to capture all of these business opportunities, Dee reminded everyone.
Daniel McCarthy, editor in chief of New York based Travel Market Report said that he is seeing a lot of the same things in the USA, with optimism coming into the market in the last few weeks driven by a positive economic situation and a successful vaccination roll out. The first vaccine roll out has gone “better than anyone expected, averaging more than two million doses a day, more than double what we were hoping for” he said. Added to this, Americans have more money in savings than ever before, with $3.9 trillion in savings compared to $1.38 trillion prior to the pandemic, according to a recent American Express report. McCarthy said that these rainy day funds will be used for travel and experiences.
The same AmEx report also indicated that 80% of leisure travellers want to travel in 2021, and his expectation is that travel will restart very quickly domestically as states relax rules. International travel will restart as people get used to providing proof of vaccination at airports, he claimned. He also made it clear that leisure travellers will drive the tourism restart and it will take a long time for business travellers to get back to previous numbers. He advised that the bucket list trips are seeing a renaissance, with cruises selling out almost immediately they are on sale, and he put the Balkans region in this bucket list category, highlighting an opportunity for the region from the US market.
The receiving destinations were represented by Spiros Gianiotis, Director and Editor of Hellenic Travelling from Greece, and Goran Rihelj, founder of HRTurizam in Croatia. Gianiotis referred to the recent ITB trade fair where the Greek Minister of Tourism announced that Greece will be opening its doors for tourism on 14th May, and said that “we’re trying to vaccinate a large portion of the population so that they can trust us, and come and have a safe vacation.” He too reported that a lot of flights are planned and the travel industry in Greece had already started preparing hotels and restaurants to welcome guests. According to Gianiotis, on some small islands, the entire population has already been vaccinated, so these will be ready to receive thousands of holidaymakers this summer. Rihelj advised that in 2020 Croatia’s tourism was 50% of the record numbers from 2019, and that they were hoping for 2021 to be 10% better than last year. He reminded the audience that tourism accounts for 20% of GDP in Croatia so “we will do everything we can vis a vis safety.” He outlined that the primary markets for Croatia are European countries who travel to Croatia by car, but that the UK, the USA and Israel are now the primary focus. Robert Dee concluded by reminding the tourism boards that over 50% of all the buyer delegates to the New Deal Europe marketplace on 12th April come from these three source markets, and that they should register for the event before the closing deadline on 31st March.
New Deal Europe, the only trade fair focused on the Balkans and South East Europe, has reached the milestone of 100 registered buyers, six weeks before the virtual event takes place on 12th April.
Director and co-founder Robert Dee said, “We are overwhelmed with the response to our second marketplace event. We reached 100 buyers in record time, and are receiving around 10 new applications per day from tour operators and agents around the World. So far we have buyers from 20 countries, including from as far away as New Zealand, and many who are attending for the first time. The largest number is still from the UK.”
“Next year we look forward to hosting our event live in London with a focus on the UK outbound market” added Tine Murn the other co-founder of New Deal Europe, “but for now the virtual nature of trade fairs gives us a great opportunity to present the Balkans on a world stage. We have exhibitors from all Balkan countries and we are delighted to be part of the tourism restart in this exciting region. All eyes are on here, following Romania’s announcement to allow tourists to visit without quarantine and a covid test if they have had the vaccine, and it looks like Greece might take similar steps. The off the beaten track and sustainable tourism offerings in the region are world leading, and it is definitely an area to watch once travelling restarts.”
New Deal Europe is the only travel market platform dedicated to generating business to the Greater Balkan region of Europe. To apply to New Deal Europe Marketplace and Forum, 12 April 2021 visit www.newdealeurope.com.
'New Deal Europe - the ONLY travel trade fair for the Balkans and South East Europe'
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About Travel Weekly Magazine:
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Register now for the marketplace on 12 April and join a range of buyers including:
- Abercrombie & Kent
- Finest Journeys,
- Leger Holidays,
- Simply Groups,
- Tapis Rouge,
- Travel Centres,
and Travel the Unknown
who all signed this week.
Buyers! Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place and meet with a range of Balkan Suppliers at the only B2B travel market showcasing the very best products in the Balkans and South East Europe.
Tourism boards and trade associations in the Balkans are lining up to offer support to New Deal Europe, the Balkan region’s flagship tourism marketplace and conference, taking place on 12th April 2021.
‘The last couple of weeks has seen a surge in support for our event’ said co-founder Robert Dee, ‘with national tourism organisations getting behind us in different ways, all of them positive. Some countries such as Bulgaria, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzogovina are subsidising tourism suppliers to enable them to attend, leading to an increase in exhibitors from these countries. Others are encouraging participation in different and very creative ways’.
‘It seems that the roll out of the vaccine has encouraged tourism organisations to think more positively about the future, to look beyond the coming weeks and months and start planning for 2022’ added Tine Murn, the event’s other co-founder. ‘We are delighted that the national tourism boards of Albania and Montenegro will be amongst those joining us for the first time, along with a delegation from the Bulgarian Ministry of Tourism, and that we will welcome back the delegates from the tourism boards of Serbia and Slovenia.’
‘The New Deal Europe event in 2020 was a professional B2B event and we had a number of quaality meetings’ said Karmen Novarlić of the Slovenian Tourism Board. ‘We are looking forward to the NDE event this year and to be able to welcome guests in Slovenia soon again.’
The event in 2020 was held virtually in October, having been postponed due to lockdown. It organised 1,250 meetings and received praise from all quarters, with 95% of exhibiters saying that the quality of buyers was high or very high. ‘We carefully select the buyers meaning that the quality is controlled’ said Murn ‘so we know that participants will have a valuable, constructive and focused day. Registrations for 2021 are already exceeding the levels we had last year, and momentum is gathering’.
Zorica Jovanov, Marketing Director of the Serbian National Tourism Organisation attended last year’s event and supported Murn’s comments. ‘NTO Serbia participated at the first New Deal Europe event in 2020. It was organised extremely professionally, we had very useful meetings and created new valuable contacts, so we can say that the event exceeded our expectations. We are looking forward to the next event with optimism hoping that the overall situation will be favourable for tourism, and that event will help us to accelerate the tourism recovery in our country.’
Other national organisations are getting behind the event, with regional development agencies offering to sponsor delegates, and incoming tourism associations spreading the word to their membership. Vlatko Sulev, President of the North Macedonia Incoming Tourism Association has been instrumental in driving participation from his country. He commented, ‘New Deal Europe is the most important event for the promotion of North Macedonia. The region needed an event and an organisation like this, and I am convinced that it will also help the faster recovery of the tourism industry in the Balkan region.’
Nicu Apostol, Vice President of Incoming Romania Association sees the event as the catalyst for restarting tourism in the region, with a focus on sustainability, an area in which the Balkans is a world leader. ‘For the last 12 months, the travel industry has been in survival mode, but now the end is in sight’ he said. ‘People will travel again, and with the support of the New Deal Europe team, we can find the right partners that understand both the Balkan area's potential and tourists' new expectations. We offer safe destinations that are developing with the key focus on sustainability, and New Deal Europe is a really important vehicle in convincing new partners to extend their operations in the Balkans’.
About New Deal Europe Marketplace and Forum 2021:
New Deal Europe is the Balkan region’s primary tourism event, and will take place in a virtual format on 12th April 2021. The marketplace is a day of pre arranged meetings between tourism suppliers from 12 Balkan countries and buyers from tour operators and agencies from around the world. At the inaugural 2020 event 1,250 meetings were arranged between delegates from 36 countries, and the event received satidfaction ratings in excess of 90%. The Forum element of New Deal Europe brings together keynote speakers and industry leaders to discuss and present on the major issues facing tourism in the Balkan region.
Register now for the marketplace on 12 April and join a range of organisations including:
- Slovenian Tourism Board,
- Visit Albania,
- Grifid Hotels,
- Past & Present Jouneys,
- Albtours D
and Adriatic DMC
who signed at the early booking offer this week.
Contact us on email@example.com to reserve your place and meet with a range of global buyers at the only B2B travel market showcasing the very best products in the Balkans and South East Europe.
There are just 10 days left to book New Deal Europe 2021 at the Early Bird rate.
Register now for the event on 12 April and join a range of organisations including:
- Visit Serbia,
- Zagreb Tourist Board,
- Mac Sun Travel,
- and Sava Hotels
who have already taken advantage of the early booking offer.
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org reserve your place and meet with a range of global buyers at the only B2B travel market showcasing the very best products in the Balkans and South East Europe.
2020 has been a challenging and a most unprecedented year. Many events were cancelled. Against all the odds, when many expected that the inaugural New Deal Europe will never see the light of day, we delivered the event in October and welcomed delegates from 36 countries. This was the first ever travel trade marketplace focused on the entire Greater Balkan region. 125 buyers attended, covering markets from Scandinavia in the North to Australia and Brazil in the South, and from California in the West to Hong Kong in the East, making the event truly global. They met with tourism companies from all 11 Balkan countries, and a total of 1250 business meetings were scheduled.
We are really grateful to everyone who supported us and we are delighted with the responses in the post event survey: 95% of suppliers said that the quality of buyers was high or very high and 92% of all delegates awarded the event 8 out of 10 or higher on satisfaction rating.
Significantly, 96% of delegates said that they would return to attend New Deal Europe in 2021.
Let's work together to bring back tourism in 2021.
New Deal Europe 2021 will take place on Monday 12th April, a date that best fits with the contracting cycle of the tour operators, giving you maximum scope to complete meaningful business deals.
We are looking forward to meet you all in person soon. Wishing you love, peace, health and joy this holiday season and lots of travel in 2021.
Tine and Robert,
New Deal Europe
New Deal Europe, is adding Moldova to its portfolio. This brings to twelve the number of Balkan countries which will be represented at its 2021 event. The whole of Greece will also be covered. Previously the event only allowed exhibitors from the Macedonia region of Northern Greece to take part.
Our team has spent much of this year’s WTM Virtual reaching out to potential partners across the Balkans and have had a fantastic response so far. With strong support from the new partners, next year’s event promises to be even bigger and better than our successful 2020 marketplace. In spite of today’s challenges, we are really optimistic for the future of tourism in the region.
Tassos Tsalapatis, owner of Athens based, Hello Travel, who attended the New Deal Europe event in 2020 welcomed the expansion. He stated, "I had so many operators asking me about destinations throughout the whole of Greece, so this move by the organisers makes perfect sense".
Event co-founder Robert Dee said "We are also delighted to welcome Moldova to the next New Deal Europe. It is the least visited country in Europe, and is an unexplored gem with so much to offer. I have visited the destination and had such a great experience. The culture, ancient sites, gastronomy and its exceptional wine tradition provide a wealth of opportunity for UK tour operators, and what’s more, the people are extremely welcoming. We are honored to be able to help the tourism providers in Moldova develop tourism to their country”.
Sergiu Manea, President of the Moldovan tourism employers association welcomed the move saying, "We are delighted that New Deal Europe is giving us this opportunity to promote our destination to the UK tour operators, and we look forward to working with their team in 2021"
The New Deal Europe 2020 event welcomed delegates from 36 countries and was the first ever travel trade event focused on the entire Greater Balkan region It delivered 1,250 meetings in one day. The next New Deal Europe marketplace and forum is planned for Monday 12 April.
In response to requests from buyers, we have added Moldova and the whole of Greece to the portfolio of destinations covered by New Deal Europe. Here is the latest map showing all participating destinations at New Deal Europe events in 2021.
See you all on Monday, 12th April 2021.
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Bulgaria, a discovery to share, bulgariatravel.org. Other PHotos from tourism BOards and travel websites from THE Balkans.
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