The Eastern Mediterranean has always been popular with Australians, but with the recent unrest, bookings have slowed down. We asked Halina Kubica from Greece & Mediterranean Travel Centre to give us some of her hot tips for selling this stunning area.
Is there much interest among Australians for travel to the Eastern Mediterranean?
Eastern Mediterranean is a region of amazing beauty and historical significance, which means it is a perennial favourite among Aussie travellers.
Which destinations are most popular?
Greece is very popular and reports from hoteliers in Greece indicate that 2016 will be the best year ever. Turkey is also still very popular. We’ve recently also noticed a significant increase in interest for Jordan, Israel and Egypt.
What should an agent consider when selling the Eastern Mediterranean?
The fact is that the clients have great time when they travel to this region, so agents definitely shouldn’t try to discourage clients from travelling. The region still offers great value for money and an abundance of important historical and traditional sites. It is also paradise for foodies.
What kind of places and activities would you recommend?
For Greece the smaller less discovered islands should top of people’s list to visit in 2016. For Turkey, go for the Mediterranean coast and Cappadocia.
What sort of travellers are visiting the Eastern Mediterranean?
In general all sorts of travellers. There is no specific trend in regards to age or gender. The Eastern Mediterranean appeals to all people.
Has all the political unrest and refugee crisis affected bookings?
It is not always about political unrest but usually about the way it is portrayed by the press. That said, the bookings to Egypt have been affected for several years. Both Jordan and Israel are not doing as well as they should. Australians looking to book holidays to Greece have also been affected which is a pity because bookings by Europeans are still very strong and any Australians who are waiting, hoping to snap up some last minute deals may find out that there is no availability at all.
What are the must-see attractions in the Eastern Mediterranean?
There are way too many to mention for every country. Some of the highlights would be the Acropolis and the islands in Greece, the pyramids and other famous Egyptian sites, Gallipoli and Cappadocia in Turkey. These places are just a few of the ones that should be on everyone’s bucket list.