Report from a Tour Operator on a FAM trip to the Balkans

The UK government announced that from 19th July travel to amber list countries will no longer be discouraged for those who have been double vaccinated. This opens up massive opportunities for the Balkan region, as all the countries there are currently on the UK’s amber list. We spoke with Sunita Ramanand, Senior Travel Specialist at UK based tour operator, Travel The Unknown, shortly after she returned from a familiarisation trip to Montenegro, organised by RAMS Tours. We get her views on what travel is really like right now, and learn about her experience in beautiful Montenegro. …


News from the consumer media in the UK

We examine a very different aspect of tourism this week. We take a look at travel journalism through they eyes of Mary Novakovich, the leading UK travel writer on the Balkan region. We find out what it is about this region which continues to attract her, how she sees tourism developing in the Balkans, and what the future holds for her profession. And for any budding travel writers out there, we get insider tips on how to make it big in this very competitive field.

Mary Novakovich enjoying a restaurant on Krk Island in Croatia. (Photo Adam Batterbee)

NDE: Hi Mary. Thanks for talking with us today. You are one of the most…


A letter from Robert Dee, NDE co-founder to Alec Shelbrooke, MP for Elmet and Rothwell

Members of the British Travel Industry protesting at the Victoria Tower Gardens in Westminster, London (Photo Robert Russell, MD of AC Group).

I have worked in travel all my adult life. The travel industry has given me and my family great personal opportunities, and professionally it has allowed me to support other businesses, develop careers and make an economic and social contribution to this country, and to countries beyond our borders.

Today I should be in Parliament Square, lobbying the UK Government for support for the travel industry, covering both the outbound and inbound sectors. However I cannot travel to London today. In fact I cannot travel outside my front door. Even though I have had two vaccinations, and almost daily I…


New Deal Europe — Three years old. London Diary

This week, after 15 months of Skype, Zoom, Whereby and every other method of conference calling, the New Deal Europe partners, Robert Dee and Tine Murn were reunited in London, for the first post-covid team building meeting. The smiles on our faces at that moment when we met say it all. We have both been talking and writing for months about tourism restarts, travel beginning again, glimmers of hope, and we were finally able to realise it for ourselves.

The last time the team was together was on 15th March 2020, at Dallas Fort Worth Airport, as we said goodbye…


News from the markets: New Zealand

At the New Deal Europe Marketplace and Forum last month we had 38 countries represented. The participant who was furthest away geographically was Marija Kapiteli, Managing Director of Croatia Times Travel in New Zealand. As that country has recently announced the restart of travel with an airbridge to Australia, we thought the time was right to have a chat with Marija about tourism not only from New Zealand to Australia but also to the Balkans, and find out what life has been like in the country that took a firm hold of the Coronavirus crisis early on.

Croatia Times Travel Tour & Cruise Group take a walk through the historic town of Hvar. (Photo: Croatia Times Travel)

NDE: Hi Marija…


New tourism trade fair: Global Travel Week

New Deal Europe, along with our partners in the Balkans and South East Europe, is delighted to be taking part in Global Travel Week in September, the first live global tourism trade fair to take place in the UK for almost two years. It’s a brand new event, organised by the Connections team at Jacobs Media Group, and will be very different to any global trade fair we’ve ever seen. We asked the event’s organiser, Micaela Giacobbe, to tell us more…

‘Global Travel Week will be a quality event designed to help senior travel executives build connections through memorable experiences that will lead to long-lasting business relationships.’ (Photo by Connections)

NDE: Hi Micaela. Thanks for joining us this week to tell us all about the latest international travel fair…


New opportunity for tourism growth to the Balkan region: OTT

Online Travel Training is the market-leader in providing interactive online training for travel agents. OTT prides itself on being the largest global course user community with around 200,000 members. This week New Deal Europe signed a strategic partnership with OTT. To mark this occasion we host Kenny Smith, Global Partnerships Manager at Online Travel Training and discuss why he believes OTT is the most technologically advanced e-learning provider in the world, and we find out how the Balkan tourism providers can launch courses with destination specific quizzes, prizes and content for the global travel agent audience.

New Deal Europe has signed a partnership with OTT — Online Travel Training which will provide travel agency educational learning tools for the Balkan destinations (Photo: Visit N. Macedonia)

NDE: Hi Kenny. Thanks…


News from the market: Israel and LGBTQ

With Israel forging ahead with the vaccination roll out we talk this week to Israeli operator Yanir Horowitz, owner of Yanir Tailor Tours, to get the insider view on the inbound and outbound market there. Yanir is also a specialist on the LGBTQ market so we also look in depth at that market segment, what it looks for from a destination, and what the Balkans region offers to the gay tourist.

‘Things are moving in the right direction…’ (Photo of Greek Islands by Yanir Tailor Tours)

NDE: Hi Yanir. Thanks for joining us today. I’m looking forward to hearing about the situation in Israel and learning more about the LGBTQ market from you. …


News from the destinations: Montenegro

This week we talk to Hayley Wright, Director of adventure company Black Mountain Montenegro, about tourism to this fantastic country. We explore some of the great activity tourism offers of Montenegro and its key role in sustainable economic growth, and also get her views on the impact of cruise ships and of Covid-19 on tourism. Of course we couldn’t resist asking her what it is like to be a Brit living and working in the Balkans.

‘Montenegro is a country of mountains, rivers, canyons, lakes, forest, stunning coastline and a climate and topography which ranges from Mediterranean to Alpine in the space of just a few kilometres.’ (Photo of Tara Canyon Rafting by Hayley Wright).

NDE: Please tell us about your personal history with Montenegro, and how you started with your agency?

HW: I have a history in the…


The second New Deal Europe Marketplace and Forum, focused on tourism to the Balkan region of Europe, took place last week and the results are now in from the post-event survey of participants. Although this was the second time the event took place during the pandemic, the organisers reported a trebling in the number of attendees and a huge growth in interest to the region.

Watch the opening session of New Deal Europe 2021 Marketplace and Forum here.

The vast majority of respondents (85%) scored the event 8, 9 or 10 out 10 in terms of satisfaction, and 97% of Balkan suppliers who completed the post-event survey rated the buyers as being of…

New Deal Europe

The exclusive B2B travel market showcasing the very best Balkan products and connecting key buyers with exclusive exhibitors.

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