Destinations within the Spanish Caribbean and Australasia are among some of the fastest-growing destinations for Kuoni UK, its latest report has found.
New scheduled flights and an ‘unrivaled’ all-inclusive product has helped numbers to the Dominican Republic and Mexico rise significantly for the tour operator, as well as Cuba.
Speaking at the report launch Kuoni’s VP commercial and product management Mark Duguid echoed concerns raised by Western & Oriental earlier this year that demand in Cuba is starting to outstrip supply. The operator is instead encouraging cruises such as Windstar to help ease pressure on hotels.
He added that those recruited for its high street stores already had strong knowledge in the Australasia region, hence both New Zealand and Australia appearing in its top four rising destinations.
Sales to Malaysia have struggled following the high profile incidents with Malaysia Airlines, while Duguid said the fall of cultural Egypt as a destination has had a ‘huge impact’ on its business although is now showing signs of recovery.
Looking ahead Kuoni’s managing director Derek Jones said the operator is partnering up with more companies to offer different products to clients. Most recently these have included Celebrity Cruises, Neilson and Ski Independence.
“Honeymoons are around 25% of our sales but, especially with our high street presence, we can be placed to then offer holidays to our customers for ‘babymoons’, the first holiday with children and beyond,” Jones said. “We started to partner with cruise companies last year and this has exceeded expectations for us so we’ve since been looking at more complimentary products to sell.”
He also cited wellness tourism as an opportunity and area where the operator could grow in the future.
Its retail footprint will also expand this year with an aim to reach 40 by the end of the year. Currently 35 are operating with its 36th due to open in a new John Lewis store in Birmingham.
Jones added: “We’ve had a great start to 2015 and our turn of the year campaign has had a fantastic response. There are plans to push this more aggressively and drive traffic to our website and stores. The number of calls directed to our experts is up exponentially and a two-hour appointment booked from our website converts better than 50%.”
Kuoni’s best-selling destinations
- Sri Lanka
- St Lucia
- Hong Kong