The Continent is always a popular destination for Americans in the summer, but last summer and this summer Europe has been incredibly popular.
That’s the exact question posed in the latest episode of “Trade Secrets,” the travel advisor-focused podcast I co-host with Emma Weissmann of TravelAge West.
We were joined on the show by Lindsay Taylor-Lauer, director of luxury and hosting at Travel Leaders 365. In fact, Taylor-Lauer recorded the episode while she was actually in Europe.
“Physics says to every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction, and I think this is the reaction to the action of shutting down travel for a couple years there during the pandemic,” Taylor-Lauer said. “I think people have a renewed interest in going to some of those destinations that they’ve wanted to go; perhaps they’ve been before, they love it.”
And, she said, after years of connecting with other people through technology, more and more people want to connect in person.
“I think it’s a reaction to what we all just lived through,” she said.
Here are some nuggets of advice from Taylor-Lauer about selling Europe:
• Book as soon as you know your client wants to go. “The sooner you can book, the better, just to ensure that you have access to the hotels that you want, to the suppliers that you want and the experiences that you want your clients to have,” Taylor-Lauer said. “I wouldn’t wait.”
• For the best prices and least crowding, avoid the middle of summer when Europe is at its most packed. Shoulder season is a good time to visit, from April through June and September through October. And, for some clients, consider a fully offseason trip. “I always love a good offseason trip, because you’re not fighting the crowds,” Taylor-Lauer said. “You have so many more access points than you would otherwise.”
• The most popular destinations right now: Italy and Greece. Sicily, in particular, because it was a “White Lotus” filming location. As far as alternate spots, Taylor-Lauer suggested Croatia and some more off-the-beaten-path places in Spain and Portugal, like Tenerife and the Algarve.
How long will the Europe travel boom last?
That, Taylor-Lauer said, is hard to tell. If it is a reaction to the past few years of not traveling as freely, it could last another year or two, she said. Or it could just keep continuing during the times of the year when Americans most want to travel.
For some more advice about selling Europe, give the episode a listen. “Trade Secrets” comes out every other Monday, and we’ve got some great topics in the pipeline, including sales strategies, artificial intelligence (AI) and more.
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