Talking travel trends with Kuoni
by Jessica Pook | 22 February 2018
Members of the travel industry gathered for the annual Kuoni Trends Report at the Mondrian Hotel, London this week (February 19) to talk trends, travel and the all-important top 10 of 2018/19 according to reviewed booking patterns and more than 300 personal travel experts.
With key speakers ready, the lighting dimmed and the rustle of popcorn respectfully muted, we were teased by videos of envy-inducing wild landscapes, bustling cities and the infectious enthusiasm of the Kuoni staff that live by the inspired motto 'our experience makes yours'.
The 'wow' factor: With 59% of holidaymakers still preferring real advice from trusted experts when booking a holiday and 79% of people admitting that they’re saturated with online data, forums, reviews and prices - it's important to give travel customers something special - something which stands out from the crowd.
The ''wow' experience is increasingly what customers are looking for. Some of Kuoni's top wow moments include a private dinner by a tumbling waterfall in the jungle with The Sarojin in Khao Lak, Thailand; a luxury Robinson Crusoe moment in the Maldives; a flight over volcanoes on La Reunion; and tango lessons in Buenos Aires.
Special occasions: Stand out days like landmark birthdays and anniversaries are always popular times to book a holiday but a new special day is attracting travel bookings - engagement travel is making the list for the first time. There is a growing trend of couples seeking to make their marriage proposal as memorable as the big day itself. The Indian Ocean archipelago tops the list of destinations for special trips where the average spend is now six thousand pounds per couple.
Honeymooners still take the top spot for special occasion travel though, followed closely by milestone birthdays and family gathering, and Maldives, Mexico and South Africa are the hot spots for newlyweds in 2018. Findings also show newly singles are embracing travel while the last holiday before a baby is proving a popular excuse to tick a bucket list trip off.
Cruising east: Demand for premium worldwide cruise trips has risen by 45%. Japan is a rising star in the best selling cruise destinations of 2018, with the promise of spring cherry blossom and stop-offs in ports including Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kobi and Mount Fuji, as well as a trip on the famous Bullet Train enticing cruisers. Alaska is the top seller and the Med, Caribbean and Mekong still make the top five.
Rising fast: Thailand is one of the star performers for 2018 overtaking Sri Lanka in third position. Kuoni predicts that South Africa will make the top 10 by the end of the year as it has been steadily increasing in popularity for the past three years with help from the favourable exchange rate and increased flight capacity with British Airways. Bookings to the USA for 2018 show a much more positive outlook despite talk of a "Trump Slump" with fly-drive itineraries with popular San Fran to LA on the up along with new interest in Route 66, New England and Colorado.
The tour operator has seen a huge rise in demand for Costa Rica with a growth of more than 300 per cent since 2015 thanks to the launch of direct BA flights. Kenya tourism has been buoyed by a number of prestigious awards in 2017 including Africa's leading national park as well as the world's best safari destination at the World Travel Awards and the Caribbean is back on track post-hurricane with its wedding destination appeal.
Italy has taken the top spot for European holidays this year with international visitors reaching almost 60 million in 2017, continuing a decade-long upward trend that is predicted to continue growing for the foreseeable future. The areas around Sorrento and Lake Garda remain firm favourites. Cyprus has knocked Croatia out of the top five which also includes Greece, Spain, and Portugal.
Top 25 destinations for 2018:
4. Sri Lanka
7. Indonesia (Bali)
12. South Africa
13. St Lucia
by Jessica Pook | 05 December 2018
by Laura Gelder | 21 November 2018
by Jessica Pook | 08 November 2018
by Laura Gelder | 13 September 2018
by Julie Baxter | 12 July 2018
by Jessica Pook | 31 May 2018
by Jessica Pook | 10 May 2018
by Jessica Pook | 02 May 2018
by Ben Coren | 05 April 2018
by Louis Hepworth | 01 March 2018
by Jessica Pook | 22 February 2018
by Julie Baxter | 31 January 2018
by Laura Gelder | 25 January 2018
by Laura Gelder | 18 January 2018
by Jessica Pook | 21 December 2017
by Ben Coren | 06 December 2017
by Laura Gelder | 09 November 2017
by Jessica Pook | 04 October 2017
by Jessica Pook | 06 September 2017
by Nina Farrimond | 31 August 2017
by Nina Farrimond | 24 August 2017
by Hannah Wallis | 16 August 2017
by Maria Martinez-Ugartechea | 26 July 2017
by Sheena Adesilu | 24 July 2017
by Amelia Glean | 13 July 2017
by James Gray | 05 July 2017
by Ellie Smith | 28 June 2017
by Jessica Pook | 21 June 2017
by Ben Coren | 07 June 2017
by Carly Hacon | 01 June 2017
by Carly Hacon | 24 May 2017
by Ben Coren | 18 May 2017
by Laura Gelder | 03 May 2017
by Laura Gelder | 27 April 2017
by Laura Gelder | 09 March 2017
by Laura Gelder | 01 March 2017
by Laura Gelder | 23 February 2017
by Laura Gelder | 16 February 2017
by Julie Baxter | 25 January 2017
by Laura Gelder | 18 January 2017
by Laura Gelder | 04 January 2017
by Laura Gelder | 21 December 2016
by Julie Baxter | 14 December 2016
by Laura Gelder | 07 December 2016
by Julie Baxter | 24 November 2016
by Julie Baxter | 26 October 2016
by Laura Gelder | 19 October 2016
by Laura Gelder | 12 October 2016
by Ben Coren | 05 October 2016
by Julie Baxter | 27 September 2016
by Laura Gelder | 21 September 2016
by Steve Hartridge | 09 September 2016
by Laura Gelder | 08 September 2016
by Julie Baxter | 01 September 2016
Don't miss out
We’d like to make sure you know when we've added fresh content here, including the latest features, blogs and reviews, product news you can really use and our pick of the best trade incentives and events out there. Sign up to Selling Travel Weekly and we can keep you up to date on the industry and inspired to sell more travel.