News from the destinations: Albania

In an important week for New Deal Europe, we speak with one of the fathers of Albanian tourism, Enver Mehmeti, the owner of Vas Group. Enver through his company Albtours D, a trademark DMC in the Albanian and Balkan tourism sector, has been promoting and selling Albania since 1994, when this hidden Mediterranean gem opened to the world. We talk about past and present trends in Albanian tourism and the difficult balancing act of developing key infrastructure alongside responsible tourism projects.

Gjiri i Grames (Photo: Fation Plaku)

NDE: Enver, it is our great pleasure and honour to have you as our Blog guest on the week…

News from the markets: United Kingdom

With vaccine roll outs and uncertainty over travel dominating the news this week, we turn to a leading UK independent travel agency to get an insider view on how demand is shaping up. We chat with Oliver Broad, director of the award winning RB Collection, and a former chairman of the travel agent division of AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators), to get his views on current customer demand. We also discuss the changing face of luxury travel and how it compliments sustainable travel, and we find out what he would have done if he hadn’t become a travel agent!

‘We love to create debate, be thought provoking and offer a little escapism too!’ (Photo of Sveti Stefan in Montenegro.)

Destination Summit 2021

In the week when the EU announced its plans for digital ‘green’ passports to restart travel, the UK reached the milestone of 50% of the adult population vaccinated and the USA hit its target of 100 million vaccinations, New Deal Europe invited the tourism boards from the Balkans to meet the media and examine what the restart means for them.

Full video on New Deal Europe Destination Summit 2021

The ‘meet the media’ Destination Summit heard from senior travel journalists about consumer sentiment in the source markets and the preparedness of the destinations to receive visitors.

Pent up demand, booking…

Editorial view from ITB: Getting ready for the Tourism Restart

Two things happened this week which affected my view of travel within Europe: I attended ITB, and I received my first Covid vaccination. The two are inextricably linked as the vaccination will determine how soon I can travel and where I can travel to, and ITB indicated who is ready to receive me.

‘Currently [the UK] is focusing on those aged over 55, a sector of the population which is time and money rich and has a high propensity to travel.’ (Robert Dee getting the vaccine at the Leeds United Football Club Stadium, photo: R Dee)

The vaccination roll out is proceeding at a fast pace in Israel, the UAE, the UK, Chile, the USA and Serbia, and unfortunately lagging behind in the European Union. The UK, one of the largest source markets for most countries, has to date vaccinated one third of…

News from the markets: United States

This week we talk with Michael Small, Director of Business Operations at AHI Travel in the USA and Co-founder & Chief Product Officer at Trvlpage, about the successful roll out of the vaccine in the USA, and what this means for the restart of tourism and the future of travel. Michael is well placed to comment as AHI is the market leader in the field of alumni travel. It is recognised around the world for the design and operation of its deluxe international cultural programs with a focus on life-long learning through international group travel. …

News from the destinations: Romania

In the week when Romania became the first EU country to state that it would accept a vaccination certificate as a valid entry requirement, we talk to Nicu Apostol, Vice President of Romania’s incoming tourism association, to get his views on this decision. We also look at how the industry is organised in Romania, what support it is getting from the government and discuss how it plans to develop sustainably and responsibly in the post pandemic world.

Rupea Citadel is one of the oldest archaeological sites in Romania (Photo: N Apostol).

NDE: Hello Nicu and thank you for taking time this week for the New Deal Europe interview. Can we start by you telling…

News from the destinations: North Macedonia

This week we have been honoured to be guests and keynote speakers at the 5th North Macedonian Conference, Expo and Travel Marketplace (MTB 2021). We managed to take some time out to catch up with the organiser, and Chair of the National Association for Incoming Tourism of Macedonia (NAITM), Vlatko Šulev, to get his thoughts on the direction tourism is taking in his country, the importance of conferences and events in driving visitors to the region, and of course to receive those all-important insider tips on what to do in North Macedonia.

5th North Macedonian Conference, Expo and Travel Marketplace will take place online (Photo: NAITM)

NDE: Hi Vlatko, thanks for agreeing to the…

News from the destinations: Ferry operations in Croatia

This week we focus on the all important ferry routes connecting the Croatian islands with the mainland, in our interview with Zvonimir Matić, Commercial Operations Manager of Jadrolinija. We discuss how they have adapted to the pandemic and learn their plans for the restart of global tourism. We examine how ferry companies can be green and sustainable, and also get his insider tips on the ‘off the beaten track’ Croatian islands waiting to be discovered by International tourists.

‘Jadrolinija has opened the door to the beauties of the Adriatic Coast for visitors from all over the globe.’ (Photo: Jadrolinija)

NDE: Thank you for being our guest today Zvonimir. To start, can you give our readers an overview of Jadrolinija and its…

News from the destinations: All-inclusive in Bulgaria

This week we travel to the Black Sea resort of Golden Sands in Bulgaria to chat with Tanya Tsvetanova the CEO of Grifid Hotels, the first Bulgarian hotel chain to operate in the resort and widely recognised as the Bulgarian ultra all-inclusive specialist. We hear about the development of the resort, the impact of Covid and get a detailed masterclass on what sustainability in action means for a hotel chain.

‘Grifid Hotels has become a business card of Bulgaria, and the art of its success…lies in the courage to think outside the box.’ (Photo: Grifid Hotels)

NDE: Hi Tanya. Thanks for joining us today. Can we begin by hearing a little about Grifid hotels?

TT: Grifid Hotels is a Bulgarian Hotel chain with a portfolio of…

News from the market: Car Rental

We take a look at car rental, a segment of tourism we haven’t explored before, in this week’s interview. Our guest, Kevin Hall, is a high profile innovator and multi award winner in this area which forms a key component of the travel package for many tourists. Kevin established the first car rental booking portal, Carbookers, and is still delivering new technology solutions for the industry today. …

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