Best practices toward Sustainable Tourism – CreteAugust 31, 2022
Official Launch AGRICULTURE DAYS 2023; International Trade Fair for Sustainable Agriculture, Livestock, Fishery & InnovationJanuary 20, 2023
New Deal Europe, a global brand
With over thirty years’ experience in tourism and with some high profile roles within tour operating, inbound tourism and hotel sales, Tine Murn and Robert Dee are business partners and co-founder of New Deal Europe. It began as an idea to have a travel trade fair for the countries of South Eastern Europe, but it very quickly evolved into much more. They are both specialised in representing tourism boards, hotels, DMCs and attractions to the key global markets and they are looking forward to developing this more, as people become more aware of what Balkan region can offer.
“We decided to pool our skill set for the benefit of the countries in our region and we now offer five distinctive divisions: representation, consultation, education, media engagement and, of course, events.” states Robert Dee, co-founder of New Deal Europe
How it started
It all started in 1985, when Robert Dee was a tour guide for Cosmos Tourama. “I was allocated two tours, “Highlights of Yugoslavia” and “Jewels of Yugoslavia”. They involved travelling all over Yugoslavia giving guided commentary about the destinations we were visiting and passing through.” Given that there was no internet at the time, he had to do all his own research from books and asking people questions. He loved everywhere he went to. When he got back to London he joined the British Yugoslav society. When in 1987 he was entrusted with the Scandinavian tours, he then realised where his heart lay, in the Balkans.
When at a City Fair event, organised by The European Tourism Association, Robert was representing a Croatian hotel and Tine was representing a Slovenian destination, they realised that out of around 200 delegates, they constituted two thirds of the representatives from South Eastern Europe. “We just thought that this was crazy, given how large the region was and what huge potential it had, so we resolved to do something about it and organise our own tourism trade fair focused on the region.” states Dee. By the following year they had their first event, the New Deal Europe Marketplace and Forum, in Central London, completely sold out by the way. With the Covid-19 around the corner, the world of work was turned upside down, so they opted for a virtual event. “This was unknown territory as we were one of the first virtual fairs in tourism, and of course we had cancellations because people did not understand how a virtual fair would work. But this gave us a massive opportunity too.” They invited all of their global contacts, and suddenly New Deal Europe became a global brand. “I’m delighted that I can now make a contribution to the area and the people I love, and who gave me such a great start in tourism and in life.” finishes Robert Dee.
A successful collaboration with the Travel and Tourism Fair in Tirana
“At New Deal Europe we are absolutely delighted to be a partner of the Travel and Tourism Fair and we are really looking forward to being back in Tirana in October.” The Travel and Tourism Fair is the first tourism fair in this specific format in Albania and for us it is such a great opportunity to work with and to have as a partner a global brand.
They will be bringing the key elements of their flagship ‘New Deal Europe Marketplace and Forum’, some high quality buyers to meet with local and regional suppliers at the B2B element, and they will also provide a content session on an issue important to developing tourism in the region.
“It has always been an ambition of ours to do events in the region and to bring tourism decision makers to see and experience the places we both love. We know from our own experience of organising press and fam trips, that once people understand a destination, they are more likely to offer it to their clients, and there is no better way of understanding it than visiting it for themselves. When they meet the people, see the famous attractions, taste the food and drinks, encounter the nature, and feel the welcome, we know that they will be captivated, and this fair, with the post event fam trips organised by Balkan Trips, gives us the perfect opportunity to showcase all of that.”
As for difficulties and challenges, Iceberg Exhibtion has faced many of them in these trying times for this industry. But with the support of the ministry of Tourism in Albania, the support of New Deal Europe and so many other companies, the Travel and Tourism Fair in Tirana will be a benefit for the Albanian tourism sector and an opportunity for everyone to learn from each other.
Regarding the expectations from this event, Robert Dee said: “I believe that this is the first event of its kind and size in Albania, so it is important to set goals which are achievable. The numbers will be smaller than a typical New Deal Europe marketplace, as this Albanian event is yet to establish itself in the calendar. This is the case with all start ups, New Deal Europe included, but what is key here is that the quality of the attendees is very high. On the buying side we are bringing leaders in their field, including the market leader in activity tourism, the largest tour operator in the world, the largest tour operator in the USA, the leading operator in luxury travel, as well as niche operators covering a range of sectors, including specialists in disability travel. I expect that there will be good exchanges of information and an opportunity for everyone to learn from each other, especially with our content session, and business deals will be done, which will be benefit Albania and the region.”
The future of tourism in Albania
According to Robert Dee, Albania is still at the beginning of a journey and has a great opportunity to become the perfect destination. It has everything the 21st century traveller is looking for: a unique cultural identity, fascinating history, great gastronomy, fantastic wines, pristine beaches and amazing nature offering a range of activities. Add to that, the capital, Tirana and all it has to offer as a weekend break destination, and you have a great package. What is important is that development is done properly, with respect to both the natural environment and the people who live here, so that tourism grows in a responsible and sustainable way, and doesn’t destroy what you already have. “If that happens, I think Albania is exceptionally well placed to be the next hot destination for a range of tourism sectors.” finishes Robert Dee.