And more locations could be on the horizon.
Jane Black, Director of the boutique Victoria-based travel company, says the “slight pivot” towards domestic product comes during a “trying year for all, especially for us down here in Melbourne”.
As the name implies, Italian Villa Vacations is an expert in FIT and small-group extended breaks throughout Italy, It offers more than 135 villas dotted across Italy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has required Black to “be a little bit creative this year,” she told LATTE.
“Australians are going to be desperate to travel and for now, with our international borders closed, it could be a good idea for Aussies to travel to that part of Australia they have always wanted to go,” Black said.
“It’s been a really tricky year for inbound tourism and also outbound agents.
“This is a way we can support one another. Australia is a spectacular place and I’m really proud to be representing some top spots in my own country alongside Italy.”
The new domestic product includes Casa di Anna in Tasmania and Casa Laguna in the Whitsundays.
Casa di Anna Casa di Anna is a luxury private home at Eagle Hawk Neck on the Tasman Peninsula, which can accommodate up to 10 guests. The property’s unique location provides direct sea access (at Pirates Bay) and an abundance of nature and wildlife options at its doorstep. Guests will find several great day-trips within easy reach. Expect all the modern cons including a private kitchen and facilities, essential during the time of COVID, Black said.
“A longer stay lets you live like a local and enjoy one place,” Black said.
“I think we have had to all slow down this year with our movements, and this is one way of enjoying travel at a relaxed pace. Staying in one stylish place and exploring the area very well.”
Weekly prices for Casa di Anna start at $7,000 for six guests in low season, and $9,240 in high season (December-April). The extra guest rate (up to a maximum of 10 people) is $55 per person per night.
In Queensland, the company opperates Casa Laguna – a luxury Hamilton Island apartment with a large balcony overlooking Catseye Bay. Casa Laguna accommodates four adults and one infant .
“We provide a private buggy for our guests and wonderful services such as fresh seafood delivery (lobster, bugs, prawns, etc.) on request,” Black said.
“The apartment comes well stocked and the owners have paid extraordinary attention to restoring it this year with luxury fit outs and furniture.”
Beyond Tasmania and Queensland, Black said she is actively searching for suitable villa partners in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.
“We can’t wait to expand to every state,” she said.
The domestic expansion comes as clients who had delayed travel this year to 2021 now consider postponing their long-haul plans to late-2021 or 2022.
“I think for now, the majority of people are waiting for domestic borders to open until they think about international travel again,” Black said.
“It’s still very much a let’s wait and see approach with big hopes [to travel] for the late second-half of 2021.
“People are certainly interested and can’t wait in fact to get back to Italy and Europe. When borders open I think the demand will be enormous.”
Agents enquiries for Casa di Anna and Casa Laguna are being handled directly. Connect with Jane on email: email@example.com
Lead image: Casa Laguna – image used with permission