Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The new Med holiday destination to be huge with Brits, according to TUI boss

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AN up-and-coming holiday destination is set to be the ‘next big Mediterranean hotspot for Brits’ according to the boss of TUI.

While Spain and Greece remain popular with holidaymakers from the UK, countries further east are booming.

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The boss of TUI has revealed the next big destination for BritsCredit: Getty
Albania has soared in popularity in recent months, especially the beaches on the Albanian Riveria

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Albania has soared in popularity in recent months, especially the beaches on the Albanian RiveriaCredit: Getty
The destination has been praised for cheap flights and cheap cocktails

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The destination has been praised for cheap flights and cheap cocktailsCredit: Getty

And one of those is Albania, which has seen tourist numbers soar in recent years.

The Albanian Riviera has even been compared to the Maldives with bright blue waters and overwater huts.

And it could be the next big thing, according to TUI.

TUI chief executive Sebastian Ebel told the Independent that it’s “on the agenda” to do more there.

He said: “I think the prospect is huge and I wouldn’t be surprised if we start a significant programme there.”

Currently, the best way to visit Albania is to book flights and hotels separately.

Flights to the capital, Tirana, start from around around £19 with Ryanair although Wizz Air and British Airways also operate flights.

Taking around three hours, Brits then need to make their own way to the coastline with destinations like Vlore and Ksamil a few hours away.

Most read in Beach holidays

Or, you can fly to Corfu and then get a ferry across to Sarande.

TUI currently only offers Albania tours, which start from around £1,185.

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However, not only could TUI launch beach holiday packages in the upcoming future, but more hotels and resorts could soon open in the country.

Albania’s tourism minister Mirela Kumbaro previously said they were looking to welcome more “four and five-star hotels with international brand names” in the country.

A new airport is set to open in the beach resort too, with Vlore International Airport hoping to open by next year.

The £90million airport will be able to welcome as many as two million passengers a year, with a two-mile runway.

Potential airlines are yet to be revealed, although budget airline such as Ryanair could launch flights.

Other tour operators are catching on too.

It has even been compared to the Maldives

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It has even been compared to the MaldivesCredit: Shutterstock
Places like Gjipe Beach have been called "hidden gems"

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Places like Gjipe Beach have been called “hidden gems”

Kayak’s Evan Day said there had been “growing interest” in Albania.

They added: “While neighbouring countries attract many tourists, Albania is still relatively untouched, which has many advantages.”

LoveHolidays already has a number of bargain beach holidays in Albania.

For example, seven nights in Durres at the four-star Hotel Alion will set you back just £222pp, with return flights and breakfast.

Want to go all-inclusive? That starts from just £427pp, when staying seven nights next month at the five-star Diamma Resort Conference & Spa.

However, others like British Airways and Jet2 are yet to catch on with holiday packages to the beach resorts.

What is it like to go on holiday to Albania?

The Sun’s Lauren Morris visited Albania for a beach holiday last year:

“When I first told my friends that I was heading to Albania for a nine-day beach trip, most of them reacted with a raised eyebrow and a question: “Why?”

“With the cost-of-living crisis looming large and our bank balances dwindling, we boarded a flight from Gatwick hoping for a cheap and cheerful holiday — and that’s exactly what we got.

“I could have cried with happiness on discovering that cocktails in the town of Vlore worked out as £3.70 each, with the most expensive bottle of wine on the menu being £23.

“In Ksamil, we made the most of one bar which boasted a 500 Lek (£3.70) happy hour until 9pm and was, unsurprisingly, very popular with other British holidaymakers.

“The water along the Albanian coastline was consistently turquoise blue, much like the sea found in Corfu, Amalfi and Sardinia.

“Peaceful, picturesque, and most importantly, ideal for those counting the pennies, Albania is becoming the hottest holiday spot.”

If you’re planning a trip to Albania, make sure your passport has at least three months left on it, and that you have travel insurance.

You don’t need a visa, and while the currency is LEK (with £10 being around 1,167LEK) most tourist resorts accept euros.

Brits currently have to fly to the capital, Tirana, although this could change next year with a new airport near the beach resorts.

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Brits currently have to fly to the capital, Tirana, although this could change next year with a new airport near the beach resorts.Credit: Getty

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