Greetings from the sunny Italian Riviera! Megan, Bella Vita’s founder, has some exciting news to share with you.
As we head into what looks to be a record year of European vacations, here at Bella Vita, we are embracing the return to travel. First, we want to share with you some updates about where we are this year.
A record breaking year of tailor made travel
After two very long years of trip deprivation, we are seeing numbers of trip requests that surpass any of our past 18 years of business. This is great news for the travel industry! The biggest trend seems to be family trips which we love working on. We have great partners throughout Europe. They specialize solely in the field of “family-friendly”. So whether it be chocolate making in Paris, “painting like Picasso” in Barcelona, or a treasure hunt in Lisbon, we can create a vacation that enthralls both kids and parents alike.
The other trend we are seeing is luxury villas for several weeks. People are interested in staying put in one destination. They are enjoying a bit more slow travel, and inviting guests into their “home away from home”. Our 2022 number one destinations for this type of travel are Tuscany, Andalusia, Sicily, and Mykonos. All very different but with plenty to offer. Here at BVT, we have a vast portfolio of private villas throughout the Mediterranean that we work with…just ask!
Lesser know destinations are also hot: Madeira, Montenegro, Malta, Meteroa…and those are just the M’s! It is been fun just getting back to work, but being able to explore and educate ourselves on these new destinations has made it even more rewarding.
Unfortunately, the desire to travel is also bringing on a few less attractive notions such as last-minute travel. A trip on a whim is a fun idea when it is possible (i.e. – a long weekend in Paris, in November), but the summer is never a great time for this. In “normal” times, we usually require 6-9 months out for travel between April and October, for a reason. It takes time to create the ultimate vacation. So much goes into the research, organization, opportunity, and perfect execution of a trip. Without that, we would be doing our clients a disservice and we refuse to put quantity before quality.
Also, we are hearing news amongst our colleagues that many of the top destinations are completely sold out from June-August. As we only work with hotels and local partners that we have hand-picked, that even lessens our selection. So, should you be thinking about a summer trip right now, I suggest pushing back to September and beyond.
And now for the big news!
During our COVID lockdown here in Italy, I spent a good deal of time thinking about how we could best improve our client experiences. It wasn’t just based on new destinations – which we are currently adding. And it wasn’t about bettering what we already do – our return clients speak volumes to that notion. It was about how can we enhance an already good thing, how to optimize our strengths and provide an even better experience for our already happy clients.
Bella Vita is a unique example of a travel agency. We have always operated in one way while the majority of travel agencies operated in another. Most of that is the “technical stuff” that goes on behind the scenes. The bottom line was how we could streamline our back-office in order to allow us to do what we do best: design tailor-made vacations.
The answer was there.
We spent months and months of research, interviews, and Zoom/Google Meets – more than I care to divulge, really, and a good deal of soul-searching. Finally, we made a big decision to affiliate ourselves with a host agency.
What’s that you might ask? Think of it as an umbrella organization that gives us more access to supplier relations, office administration, accounting assistance, and marketing tools.
A new partnership…
The backing of Travel Experts lets Bella Vita provide ever more high-end services and opportunities for our clients from VIP hotel amenities to excellent net pricing from our travel partners and even a flight concierge! This relationship in no way changes the essence or soul that is Bella Vita Travels.
We are the same, small, close-knit team that has created your tailor-made vacations for years. We will continue to explore and unearth every fabulous travel experience we can offer throughout Europe and beyond. This is great news as our new partnership allows us to concentrate on YOU and your trip.
Over the next few weeks of May, we will be introducing you to all the new services, ideas, destinations, and opportunities that we will be able to provide in this next chapter of Bella Vita Travels. We’d also love to hear from you as well on what you think, any questions you may have, and even to discuss a long-term “wanderlist” of trip and vacation ideas specially designed for you.
I cannot thank you enough for all the support you have given us over the past nearly 20 years (WOW!) and really look forward to moving forward with your travel dreams in mind!
Stay tuned for more…
Best wishes – Megan