Founded in 2008, Travel Advance are the market leaders in destination marketing and management in the Central East European (CEE) region. It operates on behalf of NTAs and other tourism stakeholders with a results-based mindset.
Head office is in Prague, Czech Republic; and we have staff based in Poland, Romania and Hungary. The team is made up of specialists in the fields of travel PR, digital marketing, strategical planning, online & offline media buying, event management, social media and travel trade relations.
Current clients include Dubai Tourism, the tourism boards of Malta, Croatia, Kenya; previously worked with the NTAs of India, Namibia, Zambia, Rwanda and South Africa.
As well as offering expertise in PR and marketing, Travel Advance has years of fostering relations with the CEE travel trade. It has organized numerous B2B workshops, roadshows and events for a variety of NTA and private sector clientele. We represent leading safari providers and luxury hotels in Southern Africa, and provide PR services to Royal Caribbean Cruises.
The Central Eastern European region has the fastest growth rate in Europe with average annual GDP growth of 3-6% between 2015 and 2017. The countries have highly-educated and motivated workforces, and since joining the EU the region has witnessed stable currencies, low rates of both inflation and unemployment, and a business-friendly investment climate.
Until 1989 this region was isolated from the world but the last thirty years has seen disposable incomes fast catching up with those of Western Europe. Because foreign travel was inaccessible in previous times the populations of this region have a strong appetite for travel and spend an above-average proportion of their income on foreign holidays.
The ‘all inclusive’ ‘flip & flop’ model emerged as the dominant travel trend in the 1990s and 2000s. As spending power grew and a new generation came of age, many new destinations were discovered by CEE, especially Asia and the Middle East. The MICE segment in this region is vibrant, and niche travel such as golf, sailing and gastro-tourism have all blossomed.
The wealthiest country in the region with the greatest outbound tourism spend per capita is the Czech Republic (population 10,5 million). In part due its position as an attractive inbound destination, Prague has ample flight capacity, which is driving the demand for mid and long haul outbound trips.
Poland is the largest country in CEE (population 38 million). The country boasts 15 airports with scheduled international flights, through which in 2017 40 million passengers flew.
Romania (population 19 million) is the fastest growing economy in the region. According to our experience Romanian consumers spend proportionally more than other CEE citizens on their foreign travel and are more likely to follow celeb influencers when choosing their destination.
Hungary (population 10 million) has recovered from its prolonged recession and is again recording economic growth. Hungarians are most likely to book their holiday online, and not via a tour operator.
Other CEE countries whose outbound tourism potential should not be overlooked due to booming economies since joining the EU include Slovakia (population – 5 million), Bulgaria (7 million), Croatia (4 million) and Slovenia (2 million).
Paddington TuckerManaging Director
Whilst still at school Paddington was intrigued by the CEE region and decided to study Eastern European languages, literature and history at London and Glasgow universities. Spotting an opportunity to make use of his knowledge and cultural insights in what is Europe's most dynamic region he moved his tourism consultancy business from London to Prague in 2006.
Since then he has grown & steered the company to become the market leader for destination marketing, event management and travel PR in the region, and has overseen the opening of Travel Advance offices in Poland, Hungary and Romania.
Paddington speaks fluent Czech, German and Russian. As well as the CEE region he has organized events and represented hotels in Russia, Germany, Benelux, Nordics, Asia and the US giving him an invaluable global business perspective.
Jan OsuchPR Director
Jan has a distinguished career in PR and in depth understanding of the CEE media landscape. Having worked as journalist for leading e-news site novinky.cz and current affairs reporter for Czech television, Jan Osuch was appointed press secretary to the Czech government (Prime Minister’s office) in 2010. In 2012 he became head of communications for leading Czech tour operator, Fischer, where he gained valuable experience at travel PR and strategical planning.
Jan joined Travel Advance as PR Director in 2016 and has excelled at conceiving and executing successful PR strategies for our clients, which have tangibly turned the needle to generate increased visitor arrivals.
Viktoria BajanikovaDirector of Strategy & Planning
Viktoria is currently regional manager of the Dubai Tourism account, where she oversees offices in Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Romania. Her role is to create and implement Dubai’s strategy for Central Eastern Europe with the aim of driving 20% increase per year in arrival numbers. For Dubai and other clients she has devised complex marketing campaigns producing clear ROI. She has coordinated a wide variety of travel trade joint marketing partnerships, networking events and online training programmes.
Viktoria gained her expertise working as marketing campaigns manager at Alza, the market leader in e-commerce within Central Europe, and in the business development department of a major tour operator in her native Slovakia. Since 2017 she is chief strategist at Travel Advance, whose clients include Dubai, Malta, Croatia, Royal Caribbean Cruises and bespoke safari products in Southern Africa.