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Credit: Creativecommons.org/Les Haines

Valbonas Valley, Albania

Major Balkans Tour Operator Enters Canadian Market

Tirana-based Balkans tour operator, Albania Experience, has officially entered the Canadian travel market by joining ACTA and appointing Abby Ingraham to head up its marketing efforts.

Founded in 2005, Albania Experience has become the leader in group and FIT tours to the Balkans from Asia and western Europe. Last December it formed a North American Advisory Board headed by former ASTA CEO/President, Nina Meyer, to help it tailor and refine its products for launch in North America this summer.  

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Credit: Creativecommons.org/godo godaj

Vlore, Albania

Albania Experience is partnering with Miami-based Express Travel’s wholesale division as ‘Balkan Experience’ and it will be guided by Meyer, whose team will work with North American travel consultants who are looking for fresh, European product for their clients.

In addition, Albania Experience will be approaching select Canadian and American tour operators to become ground operation partners in the region. This is a timely development, as Albania was listed as a must-see by the New York Times this year.

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Credit: Creativecommons.org/Les Haines

Valbona National Park, Albania

Albania Experience has a multilingual staff of 20 who are devoted to inbound travel, and in addition to tour operations it has a full service MICE division and is the exclusive conference coordinator for the United Nations in the region.

In 2013 the company’s year-on-year revenue from inbound travel grew by 24 per cent. It hosted 260 groups from 23 countries, with the largest number coming from Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Germany, France and Belgium.

The company runs both single and multi-country tours for groups of two to 45 people in 13 countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia, as well as Italy and Greece. The company offers a very flexible product line, believing customization is the watchword for the touring industry. AE is currently developing specialty tours for music enthusiasts and a multi-country ‘learning tour’ on the theme of Peace and Reconciliation, both of which will be available in the Spring of 2015.

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Credit: Creativecommons.org/godo godaj

Qeparo, Albania

The company is currently offering eight and 12-night guaranteed departure trips in October 2014, as well as in April, May and June 2015. It offers a generous, progressive commission schedule to all Canadian travel consultants. 

AE’s global partners include Avis, Sheraton, Costa, Turkish and Austrian Airlines and its unparalleled network of local and regionally respected hotels, guides, subject experts and restaurants make its service turn-key for its tour operator partners, as well as for Canadian agents.

For more information on itineraries and to make bookings, please contact: Express Expeditions at 800-922-3204 or balkanexperience@expresstravelus.com

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