ATLANTA — As it heads into 2023, Delta Vacations is emphasizing an expansion into new territories and adding more in-destination activities.
Speaking at its Delta Vacations University conference, the first held for travel partners in the three years since the start of the pandemic, the vacation wholesaler said that Cape Town, Tel Aviv and Tahiti will join the company’s portfolio, and that it is adding more places in the Greek islands, including Mykonos, Corfu, Rhodes and Santorini, as well as Greece’s capital city, Athens.
“We know that’s going to be a huge addition, particularly for our travel agents,” said Kama Winters, president of Delta Vacations, noting the Greek islands’ popularity with consumers and the desire travel advisors have expressed to be able to sell the destination. “We hear often that they’re really excited about having the opportunity to expand to those remote islands.”
Fall and winter travel will also be a primary focus for the company, with a priority on promoting travel to Europe, South Africa and the Middle East. Demand for travel to Europe soared over the summer and the company anticipates Europe demand to last through the holiday season and into the winter months.
Activities will also see a hefty investment, Delta said, and it has already added more activities in the destinations that do well for them, such as Hawaii, the Caribbean and Latin America, and is also expanding offerings in markets that they are building, such as Europe. Types of new activities include riding a scenic cable car up Table Mountain in Cape Town, visits to Christmas markets in Brussels and Frankfurt, experiencing Carnival in Athens, and visits to the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv.
“It’s not just the destination that we’re seeing the demand for — it’s about activity. How do we get more opportunities and unique things that we can do there even if it’s a destination they may have already been to,” said Winters, outlining the framework of the company’s activities expansion strategy. “How do they see a different side of it? So that activity piece is really critical.”
Delta Vacations is also launching a campaign to persuade advisors to promote less traveled destinations. Brian Canning, Delta Vacations’ chief marketing officer, said the company is seeing strong interest in what it calls its hub cities — London, Rome, Paris and Amsterdam — as well as its secondary cities of Barcelona, Venice, Dublin and Edinburgh.
He said that travelers are eager to branch out beyond the usual destinations, whether within popular destinations or in new ones.
“We’re launching a huge marketing campaign to travel advisors to tell them, ‘These are the markets that have special things that you might not know about,’ and give them the tools to help sell to customers,” Canning said, referring to Christmas markets, destinations that have less crowds, and even positioning the strong dollar against the euro as tools for advisors to use as selling points.
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