Kuoni sees upturn for ‘more complex’ multi-centre long-haul trips

Upmarket operator Kuoni has reported an increase in sales for multi-centre long-haul trips as confidence grows after the pandemic.

Destinations including India, Kenya and Costa Rica have seen rising sales over the past two months as clients plan more complex multi-centre travel arrangements.

Thailand and Japan, two of the last countries to relax their Covid entry requirements, are also seeing increased demand in recent weeks.

From October 1, Thailand has allowed visitors to enter the country without proof of Covid vaccinations or tests for the first time since March 2020. Bookings for late departures for 2022 have risen over the past four weeks by 87% compared to 2019 numbers.

Website visits for Kuoni’s specialist tailor-made division are up 36% in the last four weeks with the most visited pages being Japan, India and African countries, including Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.

The prospect of seeing wildlife, iconic sights and diverse landscapes is also drawing people back to Central and South America.

Elsewhere, group touring sales for India tours are already at 80% of 2019 levels, while South Africa holiday sales are benefiting from the pound holding up better against the rand than other currencies.

Francis Torrilla, Kuoni’s chief executive, said: “A thirst for exploration is definitely back in play for British travellers and there’s been a notable shift even in recent weeks.

“Many people have put their big holiday plans on hold for three years, so they are coming to us for advice and expertise.

“This time last year, people were booking more direct ‘A to B’ flights to destinations which were open for travel and opting for safer, more straightforward trips.

“But now we’re seeing demand growing for multi-destination itineraries, and more complex travel arrangements for longer durations for up to three weeks as countries such as Thailand and Japan finally drop their Covid entry restrictions and people start feeling more confident about the prospect of exploring the world again.”

Trips recently booked by Kuoni include a couple travelling to Chile and Argentina, starting in Santiago, then to the Mendoza vineyards in Argentina and onwards overland to San Pedro de Atacama.

Other trips booked recently include a tailor-made trip to Japan for the Cherry Blossom season and a trip to Mozambique, including Cape Town, Victoria Falls and Kruger, with couples spending between £15,000 and £20,000 for customised itineraries.

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