Prestige Holidays has continued to see strong growth in its Croatia and Canada programmes as it prepares to launch new brochures.
Speaking to Travel Daily, John Dixon, managing director of Prestige said the two programmes have been the tour operator’s “star turns” and was proud of their success.
With brochures for each destination to be launched next week, Dixon said its ‘Essentially’ brand had been a good move for Croatia amongst the more price-conscious British consumer situation. A third programme under the lower-priced brand could be launched later this year following the success of Croatia and ‘Closer to Home’.
“Next year will be our third year for the Croatia programme and the Essentially brand was a reaction to how the economy is and people needed more affordable choices,” explained Dixon. “In our second year we improved 265% which is expected within the first two years of a launch, but it was still a very good year and we carried 3, 300 people to Croatia.”
Now Prestige is looking to take more than 4,000 people to Croatia in the next year and is on target. To meet the demand, the tour operator has expanded its product for 2013 to include more self-catering options and has also added the all-suite five-star Royal Princess hotel, as well as a hotel on the island of Brijuni. There are also more activities available in the brochure including walking trails and white-water rafting in Omis. Following increased requests the tour operator has also dipped its toes into holidays into Montenegro with six hotels in four resorts that are available via Dubrovnik.
Commenting on the popularity of Croatia as a whole, Dixon said its variety had surprised the operator. “There is such a mixture of holidays in the region and twin-centres are common but the pairing varies. There is quite a bit of repeat business too and although Dubrovnik gets busy in July and August the northern area around Pula is still quite undeveloped,” he added.
Meanwhile in Canada wildlife continues to be an important element and draw for Prestige customers, as well as Rocky Mountaineer itineraries and cruises from Seattle and Vancouver, which can often be combined with tours. Aside from this the operator has added some more lodges in British Colombia including one only accessible by a float plane.
“For 2011 going into 2012 we have seen 49% growth for our Canada programme and expect 32% next year in what will be our fourth year,” explained Dixon. “I am very confident in the Canada programme due to the product knowledge from our team and we hope to carry 1,200 passengers next year.”
To accompany its brochure launches and on-going work with the travel trade Dixon said Prestige will continue to host fam trips, roadshows and dinners for agents as well as offer voucher incentives. Two fams to Canada and three to Croatia are planned next year, while four roadshows are due to take place with partners including British Airways. Dixon added travel agents remain as an important element to the tour operator, generating 85% of its Croatia business and 90% of its Canada bookings.