Sharma says agents are realising they have a lot of clients who all want to go to the same place, so they are offering group options.
‘For example I was talking to an agent in Palmerston North who wanted to put a tour to India together. I gave her a programme and two days later she had 13 people who wanted to go – a family of nine and four friends.
‘This is before we had actually confirmed a lot of the details. It is the kind of response we are getting from the market right now.’
He says school group bookings are also coming through from agents – with October 2023 to September 2024 looking solid.
‘We’ve got about 18 tours confirmed for that period, including three school groups to Japan. Vietnam/Cambodia, India, Greece and Spain/Portugal are also popular.’
Sharma concurs with others in the trade that Egypt and the Egypt/Jordan combination are ‘selling like crazy’ with both groups and FITs.
‘We’ve already had two groups to Egypt and Jordan this year with another two coming up for Egypt, Jordan and Israel.’
He says that overall, Vietnam is still Exotic’s strongest performer with four out of 10 bookings heading in that direction.
‘People are going through Singapore and they are looking for a minimum of 15 days, sometimes up to 21 days.’