Kuoni-owned GTA is expanding its business-to-business retail brand TravelCube across Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia.
The launch of TravelCube in the region is designed to give agents and operators better access to inventory which includes accommodation, tour guide and transfer services, experiences, excursions, attraction tickets and restaurants.
GTA sales vice president for Europe South Fabio Maran said: “Although still an emerging opportunity, the Balkans’ potential is rising.
“International travel is increasingly accessible and affordable, but while the internet is important for trip planning, few people in the Balkans pay online and travel is typically booked and paid for with a travel agent.
“TravelCube.com is trusted to deliver by the retail travel trade because of its wealth of experience, privileged relationships and on the ground expertise.
“Extending our network in the Balkans by adding services for retail travel agents alongside our already successful wholesale business will further support the region’s tourism economy.”
Most outbound travel from the Balkans is within Europe, likely led by the desire to visit friends and relations living and working abroad.
The UK remains Croatians’ favourite destination with room night bookings up 6% this year following a 34% increase in 2012.
Other Balkan destinations are popular, with the number of room nights booked in Slovenia by Albanian travellers increasing fourfold this year, having trebled in 2012.
The continuing growth of low cost carriers is seeing more destinations around the world increasingly accessible to travellers from the Balkans.
Pegasus Airlines launched five flights a week between Tirana and Istanbul last month, opening up a further 25 destinations beyond Turkey.
Maran added: “TravelCube’s worldwide reach and decades of travel expertise means we can act quickly to secure allocations throughout the year, to negotiate attractive – and free – cancellation terms, as well as special offers, promotions and competitive rates.”
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