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08 10 - 2013

Interview with sales and marketing manager, Balkan Holidays, Rupert Diggins

Highlighting to TTG Balkans the seasonal potential of Bulgaria and Slovenia's diverse ski products.

TTG: What are your latest tourism news and developments in the Balkan region? Which countries and projects are you currently highlighting?

Balkan Holidays launched its Ski and Snowboard 2014 second edition brochure to the UK travel trade in September. The programme features Bulgaria and Slovenia. Balkan Holidays is also launching an online golf brochurealso featuring Bulgaria and Slovenia. The second edition Summer 2014 brochure featuring Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia, will be available in the Autumn.

TTG: The Balkan region is somewhat undiscovered to some markets, how are you working to dispel misconceptions and inform the industry of each country's unique tourism offerings?

Balkan Holidays has launched a series of training manuals which are available on line at their dedicated travel agents website. The manuals contain a lot of detail about the countries that Balkan Holidays feature, including local currency, weather, advice on eating out, local excursions available, culture and so on. They also give in depth information about the resorts featured in the summer and winter programmes. For example summer resorts which are less well known such as Nessebar, Sozopol and Duni, are featured and their points of difference eg. Duni as an all inclusive resort and Nessebar for its 3,000 year heritage are highlighted. Balkan Holidays also holds a number of educationals for travel agents throughout the year where they are able to sample the diversity and delights of the country for themselves.

TTG: Are you promoting any niche types of tourism?

Golf Holidays in Bulgaria and Slovenia

TTG: Who are your main feeder markets and are you targeting any new markets?

The UK. Balkan Holidays flies from most UK airports during the summer and next year will feature three new airports for the first time Southend – near to London, Newquay in Cornwall (West Country) and Cambridge which is central England.

TTG: Are you appearing at any travel trade events and if so what message are you hoping to convey?

Balkan Holidays will be represented at the Glasgow Ski Show –October18-20; they will be exhibiting at World Travel Market in November and will also attend the ABTA Convention in Dubrovnik in October.

TTG: How do you anticipate the travel industry will develop in the region over the next few months?

Bulgaria's non Euro status will mean it will continue to grow in popularity as first choice for a value for money destination with (in the summer) a great climate, excellent Blue Flag beaches and a range of accommodation from budget to five star properties. During the winter Bansko has consistently topped the Post Office Money poll in the UK as Europe's best value for money ski resort including the costs of ski lift passes and equipment hire.