Couples raise 2021 travel spend after Covid throws weddings and honeymoons into disarray

Kuoni claims a steady stream of wedding and honeymoon bookings for 2021 after plans were thrown into disarray over the past six months due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Re-bookings for honeymoons cancelled this year and new bookings from couples planning ahead are being made.

The average spend per honeymoon is rising by £530 from £7,709 in 2019 to £8,247 for 2021, based on advance bookings so far, according to the operator.

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.

Couples are continuing to plan ahead, despite travel restrictions for immediate travel, a new wedding and honeymoon report by Kuoni reveals.

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

Honeymoons in UK and Ireland have also increased as travel restrictions this year continue.

A couple due to honeymoon in the Maldives this year were helped to change their trip for a luxury two-week road trip in Scotland.

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, according to the report.

Video appointments for honeymoon planning are also in demand.

Kuoni has arranged hundreds of virtual meetings with couples who want to see and “meet” a travel expert and talk about their plans since introducing honeymoon appointments by zoom in July.

Chief executive 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.”

The number of couples taking two honeymoons as seen a double-digit rise, such as 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.

With an extra year to save, couples are taking the opportunity to make their plans more special, upgrading flights or arranging a helicopter transfer, upgrading accommodation to overwater pool villas or adding extra experiences such as hot air balloon flights.

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.”

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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