Say “Ciao” – Italy a Top Travel Destination in 2006

More travellers are choosing package tours in 2006, especially to Italian destinations. Tours can involve your whole trip or specialty tours can be an add on to part of your holiday. Once you have seen what you like you can choose to return and spend additional time in your favorite locations.

Vancouver BC PRWEB) April 4, 2006 — The US Tour Operators Association recently released information on the top tour destinations for 2006. Not surprisingly, the 2006 Olympics focused attention on Italy making it one of the first choices for holiday package tours this year. Guided and independent tour package sales have increased dramatically with over 59 percent of travelers using the Internet to source travel information and prices. Mama Margaret & Friends Cooking Wine & Walking Tours of Italy is one of the companies who have seen a huge increase in bookings and travel inquiries this year.

In 1995, Margaret Cowan decided to follow a passion she had for Italy and especially for the Piedmont Region, by opening a tour company on line. The focus is primarily on providing cooking lessons with a number of chefs and wine tasting with vintners in their wineries. Cowan says she has noticed an increase in the number of groups of women booking tours to celebrate 40th and 50th birthdays as well as an increase in couples booking anniversary trips. Her business reflects statistics for package travelers similar to those quoted by the USTOA, average age of 43 years and a slightly higher percentage of women than men. With more women living on their own, she anticipates that numbers of women travelers will continue to increase.

In Britain, a demand for tailor-made tours was the big news in 2005; expected to grow even more in 2006. Tour operators like ItalyCookingSchools.com, who offer package options with an a la carte ability to create individually personalized tours, and offer the ability for travelers to research online, are well situated to capitalize on this trend.

Cowan is off to Italy soon to research new tour offerings for late 2006 and 2007. Her best advice before booking your 2006 holiday, “Research well, if you are not sure when you will be in that area of the world again, include activities and sights you really want to see and make sure you book early, especially if you want an off the beaten track location or to tour with a small exclusive group.

About Mama Margaret: Margaret Cowan loves Italy and despite the fact that she was not your typical Internet marketer or technical whiz, she decided to open an online tour company in 1995. The years she spent working and living in Italy and the fact that she speaks Italian give her an edge when developing unique offerings for her niche market.

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