Traditional destinations like Greece continue to be in high demand Traditional destinations like Greece continue to be in high demand

Europe still hot, late bookings continue, says niche wholesaler

Phenomenal demand for Europe through travel agents does not look like abating any time soon, according to a specialist in the market.

Jay Soysa, product and reservations manager of Orton International, says that while this is obviously pleasing  another ongoing trend continues to add pressure on the trade.

‘Bookings are still coming in late, it’s not unusual to have lead in periods of six to eight weeks for quite substantial itineraries. Enquiries for May and June are still prominent.’

Soysa adds that with bookings for July and August clients will need to be flexible. ‘It’s high season but we can still get accommodation confirmed – it just may not be the client’s first choice of hotel.’

He says providing value and as quick a service to retail agents as possible is a top priority for Orton.

‘We have restructured the way we package and wholesale our products and this has added a competitive edge to what we were doing pre-Covid. We are still using primarily the same suppliers and DMCs (destination management companies) that we used before the pandemic and we are able to offer extremely attractive pricing.’

Soysa says Orton’s strength is in providing complete itineraries apart from international airfares.

‘We no longer provide stand-alone ferry and train tickets but we can certainly include these in a full package with a minimum of three nights’ accommodation along with airfares within Europe.’

He says traditional destinations like Italy, Greece and Spain continue to be in very high demand.

‘However, we are also seeing that Portugal and Turkey are extremely popular and we’re getting a steady flow of bookings for places like Germany, Switzerland and Croatia.’

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