Recommend March 2013 - (Page 95)

europe touring central & eastern europe ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours offers a new bike tour in Slovenia. Spice up a Central or Eastern European vacation with a special interest tour. paloma villaverde de rico A sightseeing tour through the great cities of Central and Eastern Europe is great in and of itself, but why not get your client’s heart beating with a cooking class in a 13th century palace in Croatia; by horse as they ride through Dracula’s stomping grounds; and on a bike traversing a little-known mountainous region in Slovenia. There’s no denying that Central and Eastern Europe are on travelers’ radars. Travel from the U.S. to many of the countries that make up the region are up, and a lot of travelers who have done Western Europe want to explore beyond well-trodden destinations and are looking to places that hold a certain intrigue—Budapest, Dubrovnik, Bucharest, Ljubljana. In past issues, in fact, we’ve highlighted Central and Eastern Europe and have heard from tour operators that for many travelers this is an area that is relatively undiscovered, but for which they see huge growth potential. Simion Alb, for example, from the Romanian National Tourist Office, says that Romania is “much better known today in North America than it was 20 years ago, but still preserves an aura of mystery and uniqueness. It’s authentic; a country rich in contrast, history, culture and natural beauty.” Adds Alan Mandic, director of programs for Secret Dalmatia, a tour operator specializing in signature group tours as well as customized tours of Croatia, “People have seen Italy, France, Spain, Greece…and are now looking for something similar, but different. Croatia offers great value and an ‘undiscovered’ part of the Mediterranean, and Croatia is very diverse for such a small country.” But why not offer tours to these countries with a creative twist? After all, says Sylvie Tannhauser, wine & culinary travel specialist, American Express Wine & Culinary Travel Insider, Brickell Travel Management, “many travelers are requesting immersive trips with an emphasis on food, wine and off-the-beaten-path programs.” Adds Kevan Cowie, director of sales and marketing, Exeter International, which offers tours to Russia and Eastern Europe, “Culinary touring is particularly good in this region. A plethora of restaurants serving mouth-watering delicacies litter the landscape. There are also numerous opportunities to try one’s own hand at cooking local specialties; biking is good for the fit (most regions have at least some mountain terrain) with relatively march 2013 95 95-99 EU Tours.indd 95 2/20/13 3:38 PM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend March 2013

Editor's Notes/Agent Speak
Hotel Desk: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Tour Talk: Travel Indochina
Safaris in Southern Africa
Un-Cruise Adventures in Alaska
Alaska is Celebrating in 2013
"Hard Rock" Chicago-Style: Rock out in the Windy City
Mexico Destination Weddings & Honeymoon Planner
Girldfriends' Getaway at Eden Roc, Miami Beach
Kyushu: The Rising Sun of Japanese Destinations
The New All-Inclusives in Jamaica Claim Their Turf
RIU Punta Cana
Costa Rica: A Trio of Detours
Touring Central & Eastern Europe

Recommend March 2013