Affluent, repeat travelers to Europe will skirt the major capitals in favor of lesser-known destinations in 2018, reports Eurobound, specialists in upscale, independent and small-group travel to Europe. The company reports 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,” says Jeff Roy, Vice President Marketing Sales.
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,” says 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.
Agent Sales Increase 15%, Fueled by Smaller Markets
Eurobound reports that business is up 15% year over year, with major growth coming from smaller metro areas in the Midwest, Southwest and South. “We’re finding that many of the larger suppliers tend to target the big, urban markets where they have to compete on price. Meanwhile, there is an underserved, affluent market in smaller cities where travel agents value the personal service of a smaller company and the customized attention to their clients that goes into creating each itinerary and travel proposal,” adds Roy.
Information on Eurobound’s custom itineraries is available by calling 888-672-7476 toll free, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information, visit the company’s web site: Eurobound.com.
Now celebrating its 21st year, Eurobound provides distinctive packages and itineraries for independent travelers and small groups, sold exclusively through travel agents. Specializing in personalized travel to Europe, Eurobound is a winner of the French Affairs Award for Best Niche Tour Operator.