-- Increase fueled by influx of new travel advisors to Groups Travel Segment, and requests for more customized groups, diversity of destinations, and last-minute travel --

Central Holidays is on track to close out the first quarter of 2023 with an impressive increase in group bookings that has surpassed the company’s pre-Covid sales by over 20 percent in Q1 (115 percent increase year-over-year). The company is seeing this increase being fueled by a number of trends including the demand for more customized groups, requests for a diversity of destinations, last-minute inquiries, and an influx of travel advisors newly seeking to get into the group travel segment.

“We are seeing travel advisors leaning into group travel more than ever before. Equally, we are experiencing a dramatic rise of new-to-the-industry travel advisors eager to learn about group travel and starting to book groups. The numbers speak for themselves with bookings on pace to surpass our top performing pre-covid sales year,” said Adam Greis, General Manager of Central Holidays.

“There is no doubt that the travel market has changed over these past few years,” continued Greis. “Nonetheless our time-honored experience and strength in group travel has propelled us to significant growth in the segment. In 2022 we saw people preferred to travel more in smaller family and friend groups, with an increase going back to groups of 30-40 travelers as the year progressed. That continued to be augmented by more private customized groups of 60-80 travelers on from there with the largest group we orchestrated last year reaching nearly 4,000 travelers. Interestingly, a trend we are seeing is that the majority of these groups are being driven by travel advisors – whether customized family travel, special interest, corporate, incentive, or other. Many advisors have come to realize the benefits of selling group travel and the flood gates have opened!”

To help support travel advisors, as travelers continue to show the greatest comfort in traveling as part of a group, the company is making major investments in Technology and Training. Advisors can look forward to the upcoming launch of the company’s new website that will include a dedicated platform for travel advisors where they will be able to make and manage bookings, benefit from expert sources, and access marketing resources tailored to their agency. Additionally, Central Holidays will be introducing valuable training and development programs in the coming season including a webinar series, Familiarization Trip opportunities, and more one-on-one trainings presented directly to agencies by the company’s specialized travel industry sales team.

With a 50+ year history and unparalleled experience in planning and delivering group travel as well as a brand specifically dedicated to the segment – called Group Travel Experiences by CH, Central Holidays is further working to keep the growth in group travel increasing by catering to the current trends that include: requests for a diversity of destinations and more customized experiences, as well as distinguished service on inquiries that range from last-minute requests to programs being planned deep into 2024 and even 2025.

“From scheduled departures to many destinations, to a Groups offering that is always fully customizable, we are constantly creating itineraries based on specific requests,” said Maria Jose Merino, Vice President of Operations and Product for Central Holidays. “Plus, with offices in Italy and Egypt, and destination management affiliations in many of the most popular group travel destinations today – including France, Greece, Spain, UAE, South Africa, South America (Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands), and beyond – we have the unique in-country reach to develop itineraries for different destinations and enhance them to include services and products based on our expertise coupled with travelers’ interests and preferences. It’s that personalized service that has been one of the cornerstones of our success for more than 50 years and keeps us going strong.”

Agencies looking to plan a one-on-one training session for their team can contact Central Holidays Travel Industry Sales Vice President Margie Bell via email at mbell@centralholidays.com. News about the new training and technology offerings will be announced in the coming weeks.