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Published on Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The honeymoon ISN'T over as newlyweds' spending rises

Wedding and honeymoon plans may have been thrown into disarray because of Covid-19, but agents could be on to a winner next year as couples look to make their honeymoon even more memorable - and that means spending more money.

Kuoni's honeymoon report reveals the average honeymoon booking has jumped by more than £500 to £8,247 for 2021, with the Maldives the number-one honeymoon choice for 2021.

The operator predicts average spend per honeymoon will rise by £530 from £7,709 in 2019 to £8,247 for 2021, based on advance bookings so far. 

There's also been a double-digit increase in the 'double honeymoon', where couples take two getaways: one short trip to places in in England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy or Greece immediately after their wedding ceremony, with plans to take a bigger long-haul trip next year or the year after.

Honeymoons in UK and Ireland have also increased and Kuoni reports that, with an extra year to save, couples are taking the opportunity to make their plans more special upgrading the flights or arranging a helicopter transfer rather than a car so they arrive in style, upgrading their accommodation to overwater pool villas or adding extra experiences such as hot air balloon flights.

Remote retreats away from the crowds, private pool villas and tented camps in Africa are all in demand.

The Maldives tops the dream honeymoon destination list for 2021 followed by Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Kenya and Tanzania, South Africa, Italy, Bali, Thailand, Greece and the Seychelles.    

Despite travel restrictions for immediate travel, couples are continuing to plan ahead. 

Stacey Owens, one of Kuoni's honeymoon experts, said: "I've worked really closely with couples since the coronavirus crisis started to impact so many honeymoon plans over the summer.

"It's been rewarding to help couples reshape such a special trip at an emotional time for them.  They've had the huge disappointment that their wedding plans aren't going ahead and at times we've all been in tears.  We've pulled out all the stops to help couples with their plans.  The human touch has been welcomed."

The changing travel advice alongside the pandemic also means that couples are turning to trusted brands who promise flexibility in case anything needs to be changed before they go.

Video appointments for honeymoon planning are also in demand. Since introducing honeymoon appointments by Zoom in July, Kuoni has arranged hundreds of virtual meetings with couples who want to see and 'meet' a travel expert and talk about their plans.

Kuoni CEO Derek Jones said: "This has been an emotional time for a lot of couples and behind the scenes our team have moved mountains to help couples change their plans, recreating complex itineraries for new dates next year or even the year after.   We've helped change honeymoon plans for doctors, nurses and key workers and our flexible approach has been welcomed at a really stressful time."

 What's trending:

1.       Private pool villas
2.       Secluded luxury away from the crowds
3.       Private in-villa dining
4.       Multi-destinations including adventure and beach
5.       Saving and upgrading
6.       The double honeymoon
7.       Spa and health retreats
8.       Luxury UK and Ireland honeymoons
9.       African safaris with tended camps

Best-selling honeymoon destinations for 2021:
1.       The Maldives
2.       Sri Lanka
3.       Mauritius
4.       Kenya and Tanzania
5.       South Africa
6.       Italy
7.       Bali
8.       Thailand
9.       Greece
10.   Seychelles

Best-selling mini-moons based on bookings for 2020 and advance bookings for 2021:
1.       Italy
2.       Greece
3.       Spain
4.       England and Scotland
5.       Ireland

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