The numbers still don’t make you dizzy, but they are darn promising, drawing an expanse of a summer that promises to be radiant. A perspective capable of reassuring professionals, initially forced to stop due to the health crisis, later very worried about the consequences of the war in Ukraine. If the early days of the conflict really had little impact on reserves, now is the end. 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 recovering the dynamism of 2019, namely the reference year“, welcomes Nefaa Chelbi, director of Voyageurs du Monde Marseille, the most important agency behind the sign behind Paris.
Italy, Greece and Spain acclaimed
“We feel a real urge to travel among a clientele who have been frustrated for over two years and who, after a period of unprecedented anxiety, want to have more fun than ever. As proof, she doesn’t hesitate to add some options, even if it means inflating her budget a little more, precisely to make the most of her vacation.“
On the TUI side (Clubs Lookéa and Marmara, Nouvelles Frontières), the observation is no different”with reservations near the peaksconfirms Frédéric Blanc, regional director for the South of the group “and which, incidentally, started very early this year.” “We were also surprised by the success of the Early Booking operation. Launched in December, we had to stop in January and continued until Februaryexplains, 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 we count across the planet, were already full for the month of August.“
In terms of destinations, southern Europe, a safe haven of the eternal, for being rightfully considered “safe”, takes the lion’s share and the United States and Canada are back. “We have seen a veritable explosion of orders for Italy, recognizes Nefaa Chelbi with personalized tours of the Amalfi Coast, Sicily, Puglia or the lakes region. So, Spain, Portugal knows a real plebiscite, as well as Greece.“
Greece precisely”is, with us and without great surprises, the star of the summer. It alone represents 40% of our sales” reveals in turn the regional director of TUI, which has 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 as we have just entered into a partnership with Aegean Airlines, which offers connections from many provincial airports, starting with Marseille-Provence.“
And why not Asia?
With all these facts in mind, it is better not to wait too long now if you want to spread your towel on an Aegean beach, offer yourself a sangria for an aperitif next to Andalusia or be surprised by Amalfi or Positano. “Good plans and offering addresses of choice that our customers are used to, it will be hard to find“, admits the head of VDM and even putting the price on it, that in parentheses, combined inflationary forces”our concern to remunerate our partners and service providers at their fair value“, generally increased “in 10%/15%” and even “30% for Italy.”
Hence, and this is one of the brand’s philosophies, the desire to go against “trends” and to offer “for our clients who often have precise specifications, i.e. a desire for nature, culture, heritage, the unusual (etc.), but no precise destinations to dig up.”
And to continue: “If Tanzania, Central America, Polynesia or even the UAE worked well this winter, why not go back to Asia? All restrictions are being lifted and level services that can be found in Indonesia, Thailand, Laos or Cambodia, for example, it’s of a quality that has no equivalent elsewhere. And on the budget side, you won’t spend more going to the Gulf of Siam or Bali than you would in some European regions.”
It remains now to convince a public “still marked” by border closures decided overnight and, therefore, always cautious to cross the planet.
“It is true that if people have already learned to live with covid, they feel safer in Europe, they come and return more and more to our club hotels, they still have some apprehensions about taking long-haul flights. note Frédéric Blanc. “The Nouvelles Frontières circuits, which this year turns 50, in Iceland, Ireland or Italy, work very well. But in fact, in Asia, it’s a little more complicated, despite the very good prices“. The arguments put forward by the various TOs may be able to bend the curve…
– World travelers in Marseille, 25 Rue Fort Notre-Dame, 04 96 17 89 17 or travelersdumonde.fr – TUI (Marmara, Lookéa, Novas Fronteiras) 0825 000 825 or tui.fr