Olympic Holidays will be launching guided group land tours on the Greek mainland for next year, Carl Catterall, head of marketing and communications, told Travel Weekly at WTM.
The tours – which will mark the operator’s first guided group product – will be appearing in the 2020 brochure and will go live on the website for agents and consumers to book from November 22.
“We will be starting with two itineraries on the Greek mainland, both departing from Athens,” said Catterall.
“They will be guided group tours, which clients can book on as individuals. The group size and other details are still to be confirmed and the product team are finalising the details, but we can confirm they will run in the summer months next year.
“There will be four, five and seven-night options available. For now it’s just two itineraries, but we might look to expand the land tours into other destinations afterwards. We first want to make sure we do it right in this destination – then we’ll look at moving into the next territory.
“It’s a natural progression for us – the mainland, especially Athens, has become really popular, and we saw based on research that people wanted to do touring – they don’t just want the beach, they’re keen to combine it with the city and the mountains.”
It’s part of an expansion plan that includes several new destinations for next year – including the Balearics, Malta, Turkey and Egypt, where the operator is returning – alongside a string of new Greek island-hopping itineraries, which will appear in a dedicated island-hopping brochure on November 22.
A new island-hopping website has also just launched, giving agents and consumers the chance to view suggested itineraries and tailor-make trips.
“The website is great for us because it means that when the customer wants to speak to an agent they’ve already decided where they want to go and what the options are,” said Clare Tobin, Olympic Holidays CEO.
“We’ve seen island hopping going from strength to strength,” added Tobin. “Clients want differentiation – families don’t just want to fly and flop – they want to discover.”
Among the new island-hopping itineraries – adding to an existing three Greek island itineraries, introduced last year – are five new triple-centre trips and eight new twin-centre trips. They are all in Greece, with several smaller islands new for next year – including Andros, Poros, Spetses and Karpathos.
Tobin said agents and consumers would also be able to tailor-make island-hopping trips in the Balearics on the island-hopping website, from November 22. Twin-centres in Cyprus are also new in the brochure for next year.
“People have always done twin-centres on their own, but we’ve noticed people have been asking about it more and more,” said Tobin. “We’re focusing on this area now, with the aim of becoming the global island specialist in the coming years.”