Wimco, the Newport, RI, and London-based luxury holiday villa and hotel reservations company, anticipates a bumper crop of international visitors to descend on its Caribbean holiday villa rentals in 2005 thanks to the fact that its villas are priced in dollars, no matter where in the Caribbean.“Current monetary fluctuations make our US$-priced villas in the Caribbean an especially great deal for travellers from the UK and the EU,” says Janis Gordon, Vice President of Marketing.
Gordon notes that even on St. Barthelemy, which is part of France, Wimco’s villas are priced in US$ rather than Euros, unlike the island’s hotels, which are priced primarily in Euros.
She says that Wimco does not adjust its Caribbean prices mid-season, so clients can travel assured that the US$ price they read on line or in the 2005 printed price list will be the same when they arrive.
Travellers from the US seeking to experience Wimco’s European villas, however, will find a different story this year as their dollar won’t stretch as far as in previous years. Most European villas have a native Euro pricing which fluctuates when converted into the weaker US dollar.
“Due to the weak dollar, one might expect to see European bookings fall off. However, Wimco’s European destinations (South of France, Umbria, Tuscany, Mykonos) remain so strongly attractive to US-based travellers that they still want to go. We advise travellers concerned about the Euro/dollar squeeze to travel in shoulder or lower priced seasons, such as May and June or September and October, rather than the peak months (and peak prices) of July and August.
Wimco reports that demand for private villas for stays ranging from one to four weeks has grown significantly in the past 12 months. The company’s bookings for 2005 spring/summer/fall European bookings are more than double those that were in place at this time last year for this past spring/summer/fall.
“In spite of the weak dollar, there seems to be a continued passion for the European experience,” says Gordon.
“Demand from Americans for Italy remains strong,” says Gordon. “Our Italy villa business nearly doubled, in spite of the weak dollar. France, too, seems to have rebounded, and the word on the street in Paris is that the ‘Americans are back,’ and the French are welcoming them warmly. Greece has just hosted a near-perfect Olympics, so we are expecting next summer’s demand for Mykonos and Greek island travel to blossom.”
Wimco’s international 2005 villa inventory can be previewed on line at www.wimco.co.uk (UK and Europe). By phone, 0800 838 318).