New Deal Europe – a trade body representing destinations in the Balkans – will hold its first live event in London next April.
The New Deal Europe Marketplace and Forum 2022 will take place on April 4, at a venue to be confirmed, and will be followed on April 11 by a virtual version.
The co-founders of New Deal Europe, Tine Murn and Robert Dee, announced the dates during a trade webinar on Thursday (November 25).
Murn said: “The region is becoming extremely popular with people looking to travel for something new and exciting. There are lots of opportunities and stories to be told.”
The event will bring together buyers, predominantly from the UK and Ireland market, with suppliers and tourism boards from across the Balkans.
Dee and Murn also unveiled a new offer for partners in the Balkans to have a free six-month trial course on the Online Travel Training (OTT) platform.
The New Deal Europe Academy is now live on OTT, offering modules about destinations such as Zagreb and Bosnia and Herzegovina, plus Aegean Airlines.
Kenny Smith, OTT’s senior global partnerships manager, told the webinar that partners from the Balkans can showcase their product on the New Deal Europe Academy, through dedicated courses.
“You are able to educate, train and speak to selling travel agents,” he told attendees.
He said many agents are now working from home so the online courses are very cost-effective ways to “learn, inspire and connect”.
NDE also announced a partnership with Mabrian Technologies, which will provide tourism intelligence and data analysis to NDE partners.
Dee said the tech specialist can help destinations find out what consumers are searching for in different markets, and supply data about flights, seats and airports.
Tourism consultants Dee and Murn created New Deal Europe in 2018 to represent Balkan countries and tourism businesses.
They had planned to host their first trade fair in March 2020 in partnership with Travel Weekly’s parent, Jacobs Media Group.
However, the pandemic meant it was postponed to October 2020 and relaunched as a global and virtual event.
New Deal Europe has partners from 12 Balkan countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.