Tourlite's 2000 lineup features full assortment of packages

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NEW YORK -- Tourlite International's programs for 2000 highlight classical Greek cities, the Aegean islands for cruising or stay-put vacations and special-interest packages for honeymooners and seniors.

Sophisticated travelers might be tempted by a new program called the Other Side of Greece, which focuses on historical and scenic attractions in northern Greece and visits the Ionian island of Corfu.

The clifftop Meteora monasteries are on the route between Athens and Delphi in Greece. Travel trends for Greece this year will follow those setting the pace in other European countries, according to Nicholas Athans, president of Tourlite here.

The demand has been for customized FIT arrangements using locally hosted land packages, with travelers over age 55 booking some escorted tours, he said. He added that in general, travel costs to Greece in 2000 should be lower than last year.

Athans pointed especially to Greek Islands cruises where "with an abundance of cruise ship capacity, we will be able to negotiate rates and make special offers that agents will be able to capitalize on by staying tuned to tour operator Web sites."

Athans also said that the Greek Islands are an easier sell than ever, especially nowadays when there are so many new choices of accommodations for the growing audience of upscale travelers.

For this market, Tourlite has designed a Luxury Selection package that features private transfers, deluxe hotels with the best available views in Athens and the islands, private sightseeing and dining at exclusive restaurants favored by locals.

The deluxe nine-night Valmar Azur tour offers a choice of the Grand Bretagne and Hilton hotels for a two-night stay in Athens as well as three nights at the Astra Villas in Santorini and four nights the Royal Myconian in Mykonos. Package cost, with air from the New York and to the islands, starts at $2,899 per person, double.

The deluxe Valmar Apollo program offers two choices: a 10-night option of three nights in Athens and seven nights aboard the Stella Solaris with superior outside cabins, or a 13-night vacation that adds three nights at the Elounda Mare Hotel on Crete. With air from New York, the lead price on the 10-night program is $2,929; on the 13-night selection, the price is $3,059.

Tourlite's Honeymoon collection addresses another key niche market for agents. Programs include private transfer, flowers and champagne on arrival; local wines at each island hotel, and a farewell souvenir gift on departure.

Honeymoon plans are for 10 nights (Athens, Santorini and Mykonos), 11 nights (Athens, Mykonos or Santorini, and a four-night cruise) and 12 nights (Athens, Crete, Santorini and Mykonos).

As You Like It customized honeymoon packages are available for hotels in Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Rhodes and Crete.

Athans said that cruising is still favored by many Greece-bound clients. Next year the firm will feature the three-, four- and seven-night sailings of Royal Olympic Cruises, Golden Sun Cruises, Orient Lines and Star Clipper.

On the escorted front, Tourlite's new 10-night Other Side of Greece tour spends three nights in Athens, one night in Delphi, one night in Metsovo in the Pindus mountain range, two nights in Ionnina, and three nights on the island of Corfu.

Priced between $1,969 and $2,889 per person, with air from New York, departures are offered twice monthly from March 30 to Oct. 19.

Tourlite International
Phone: (800) 272-7600 or (212) 599-2727
Fax: (212) 370-0913
Web: www.tourlite.com

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