It’s Vietnam, Mexico and Cuba

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
Male in the Maldives

Male in the Maldives

For 34 years Kuoni has been undertaking it’s annual Travel Trends Report which is a reasonable pointer to those destinations that appeal to those able to trave long-haul.

The report looks at the changing habits of British travellers based on sales data over the last three years across a number of holiday categories including wallet-friendly destinations, overall bestsellers, honeymoons and sightseeing experiences. For this year, it  puts Vietnam at the top of the rising star destinations – the country has jumped nine places in the company’s best-selling destination list from 23 in 2011 to 14 in 2013.

Mexico has seen a huge leap from 29th best-selling destination in 2011 to 17th at the end of last year, thanks to its increasing range of high-quality all-inclusive hotels alongside gorgeous beaches. And Mexico is a popular destination for Just about Travel readers who visit the country much more than  the average.

And early indications are that Vietnam, Mexico and Cuba are already becoming three of the most requested long-haul destinations for 2014, set to rise even further up the best-selling holiday list by the end of this year.

But there’s no change to the number one bestselling destination for Kuoni for the ninth year running – the Maldives.

An early indication of the bestselling destinations for the year ahead is also revealed based on advance sales until the end of January 2014:

  1. Maldives
  2. Thailand
  3. Sri Lanka
  4. United Arab Emirates
  5. USA
  6. Mauritius
  7. Malaysia
  8. Cuba
  9. Antigua
  10. Singapore

Three other features came out in the report. The first is that the value of the pound in many  long-haul destinations is so strong that the total cost of a long-haul holiday including on-the-ground expenses is now comparable with a European break.   Secondly, there is more demand for experiences and the number of sightseeing trips booked by travellers is growing.  Three tours in Vietnam are now in the list of best-selling experiences.   The most popular is the Cu Chi Tunnels – the underground city that provided sleeping quarters and a command centre for up to 10,000 soldiers in the Vietnam War. Finally,  Mauritius has taken over from Sri Lanka as the top spot for a sun-kissed wedding ceremony in the eyes of Kuoni customers.

Another long-haul company, Austravel, says that it has seen a huge increase  in bookings to destinations in the South Pacific over the past three months. They report  a doubling increase in bookings year-on-year to French Polynesia and Rarotonga. Fiji has also seen a 33 per cent boost over the past 12 weeks compared to the same period last year. These are probably holidays of a lifetime because people are spending more to island hop as the tour operator says that thisis becoming a popular trend with their customers.

Of course Kuoni and Austravel  travellers are not indicative of the travel market as a whole. Their holidays appeal to those who are willing to spend more on holidays than the average person and those who travel further. So take their comments in that context.

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