From avoiding crowds to saving money, there are plenty of reasons to recommend an alternative city break. Here are three options for clients who have visited classic cities and are seeking something different this time.
Italy’s fourth biggest city is renowned for its impressive views of the Alps, baroque architecture and gastronomy.
It’s home to numerous trattorias offering culinary specialities including Barolo-braised beef, pasta with truffles, and gianduja – milk chocolate with hazelnuts.
Heather Green, senior purchasing manager at Citalia, recommends clients visit outside of summer to sample truffles and eschew the crowds.
"September is the best time to taste truffles, and many food festivals dedicated to [the delicacy] open throughout the whole autumn period.
September travel also means the weather will be more pleasant and clients will miss the summer crowds, making it an ideal time to explore Turin’s historical palaces and museums."
Since Dubrovnik became the fictional city of King’s Landing in the hit television series Game of Thrones, tourism there has been booming. For clients seeking respite from the crowds in an equally beautiful coastal Croatian city, recommend Pula.
Denis llic, commercial director at Balkan Holidays, says: "Pula offers better value as it is less well-known. Along the Istrian peninsula, the wine and seafood are magnificent. The Roman amphitheatre is spectacular for concerts, and [Pula] is ideal for younger clients during the festival seasons of July and August."
He recommends visiting in shoulder season. "Send couples in spring or autumn when it’s more peaceful and the weather is milder. You could also upsell by booking clients on a twin-centre combining Croatia with Slovenia."
The French capital might be dubbed the City of Love, yet there are plenty of reasons for clients to be enamoured with Montpellier too, says Patrick Millar, marketing manager at Kirker Holidays.
"With a beautiful opera house, the Musee Fabre and grand architecture on a scale akin to that of Paris – including its own Arc de Triomphe, the Porte du Peyrou – Montpellier offers a superb short-break alternative."
Its proximity to the Mediterranean coast, hot summers and nightlife make Montpellier ideal for younger clients too.
For those hoping to live like the locals and sample craft beer, suggest a trip to La Barbote microbrewery, while for music lovers, La Fabrik’s gig nights and karaoke should be right up their street.