Published on Monday, February 20, 2017
Kuoni is reporting a strong start to 2017 holiday sales, with managing director Derek Jones claiming 'travel has never been more exciting'.
Jones said: "Despite one of the most turbulent political periods I've seen in my lifetime, it's still very clear that travel has become integral to people's lifestyles and thirst for travel is still very much there.
"We're seeing creativity like never before in the tourism industry - everything from star-gazing platforms to dining for two on a private sandbank - travel has never been more exciting."
Value-for-money remains key for British travellers with demand for all-inclusive trips on the rise, according to the operator's Worldwide Trends Report 2017, which is launched today.
Many Kuoni customers are choosing Europe for a summer break. Despite the devalued pound there is still demand for premium short-haul holidays, particularly Greece, which has seen a 30% increase in sales since last year.
Croatia is also selling well, while, further afield, a new direct flight with British Airways from Gatwick to Costa Rica has helped the long-haul destination see sales up 310% up on last year.
The operator says demand for experiential travel is on the up, with customers booking experiences such as chocolate making in St Lucia, and cooking classes in South Africa, according to the report.
The island resorts of the Maldives continue to top Kuoni's list of best-selling destinations for premium travel, but there has also been a noticeable upturn in demand for trips to Mauritius, Costa Rica, Malaysia and Borneo, Canada, South Africa and Greece.
Canada makes its first appearance in Kuoni's top 20, moving up four places into 19th position, which Kuoni says is helped partly by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's 'cool not cold' tourism campaign to draw attention to its culinary scene, vibrant cities and wild adventure in its national parks.
The weak value of the South African rand has helped to lure more people to the destination resulting in a move three places up to 15 in the best-sellers list.
Kuoni's top-20 best-selling destinations for 2017 are:
3 Sri Lanka
6 Indonesia (Bali)
12 St Lucia
15 South Africa
19 Canada (23 in 2016)
20 New Zealand (22 in 2016)
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