kuoni travel trends report 2013
Table of Contents Introduction & Destination Trends………………. Holiday Trends……………………………………………… Top 10 Destinations……………………………………… Top 10 Wedding Destinations……………………….. Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations……………......... Top 5 Holidays for Singles……………………………... Top 5 Tours…………………………………………………… Holidays by emotional needs………………………… Future Trends………………………………………………… Conclusions…………………………………………………… About Kuoni……………………………………………………. Kuoni’s retail network……………………………………. Report Credentials Figures in Kuoni’s 2013 Travel Trends Reports are based on multiple sources, namely statistics from booking patterns made between January to December 2012 for holidays during 2012 and 2013, actual passenger numbers, customer behaviour and feedback. All this data is then analysed by Kuoni’s market manager’s global insight. The Report’s 2013 figures are based on holiday bookings made up until December 2012. Kuoni has been undertaking this annual Travel Trends Report since 1980.
Introduction There is no doubting the power of a holiday. It refreshes the parts that other remedies do not reach, and in these strained times, holidays are needed more than ever. Where you book is only part of the decision-making process; the other decision is what you want to do once there. Do you want an exotic beach getaway, a family break, an adventurous safari perhaps or a pampering spa break? Do you want world-class luxury or something more wallet friendly? Some want to relax; others crave adventure and excitement while time-poor couples need to re-connect while others go away to make life-changing decisions. One thing is for sure, and that is romance is alive and well. Kuoni‟s Top 10 tables on Weddings and Honeymoons reflects that Kuoni customers are booking hand-picked hideaways, secluded villas, pampering hotels and private islands spanning the exotic Far East and Africa, magical Indian Ocean, and colourful USA, Caribbean and Mexico. But the one destination that scores above all others, regardless of reason for holiday, is the Maldives. This is currently Kuoni‟s top-selling destination for 2013, as it was for 2012. And one can understand why: the warm Indian Ocean is home to 1,200 islands that make up this magical archipelago of idyllic islands. The Maldives is not only No 1 in our Top 10 Destinations this year but also No 1 in the Top 10 Honeymoons 2013 (as it was in 2012), and No 2 for Top Holidays for Singles. These are just some of the top-line results from leading tour operator Kuoni‟s annual Travel Trends Report 2013. The Report tracks the changing preferences of the holiday-going public and not only where they book for weddings, honeymoons, family breaks, or as solo travellers, but also the inside track on emerging trends.
Destination Trends The ten top selling destinations for 2013 are the Maldives, Thailand, Sri Lanka, the USA, UAE, Mauritius, Malaysia, Barbados, Singapore and St Lucia. Many destinations have stayed the same in our annual trends report, reflecting the constant appeal of the exotic countries and vibrant cultures of the Far East, the Indian Ocean and Caribbean that absorb many of these 2013 slots. The fact that Thailand occupies the No 2 slot in our Top 10 Destinations is no surprise. The country offers holidays for everyone from captivating cities such as Bangkok with its floating markets to small island hideaways to languish in, overlaid with a friendly, open culture.
The USA - in No 4 position - offers a vast range of disparate experiences within its borders from adventures in Alaska, to breathtaking road trips, flexible adventures, world-class hotels, iconic cities, sumptuous spas, value home stays, motor home experiences, fabulous dining, vineyard experiences and so much more! The Caribbean takes up two slots in our Top 10: Barbados in 8th place and St Lucia in 10th. With a minimum 80 plus degrees each day and little rainfall for most of the year, it‟s no wonder that British holidaymakers flock to the tropical paradise that is the Caribbean. Vietnam is definitely the one to watch in 2013. Still outside our Top 10 Holiday destinations chart, it nonetheless has great potential, fuelled by a greater choice of flights and some exciting new beach options for those that love the Far East.
Holiday trends Without doubt, holidaymakers are looking for different types of holidays. Crashing on a sunbed for two weeks is fine for some, but the more adventurous want to brew coffee at ancient fazendas, track chimpanzees in the wilds of Tanzania, salsa in Havana, scale Mount Kenya, watch brown grizzly bears in the wilds of Canada, or soak up knowledge from an Eco Conservationist in Costa Rica. Kuoni offers an extensive range of authentic experiences to satisfy the increasing number of travellers who want to touch and taste the local culture. All Inclusive deals are also emerging as an important trend. Kuoni is helping holidaymakers stretch their travel budgets with a greater percentage of All Inclusive holidays across all 14 of its 2013 holiday brochures. The Caribbean and Indian Ocean, in particular, are generous in their All Inclusive offers but holidaymakers can also find them in Kenya, Zanzibar, Egypt, the UAE, Thailand, Malaysia and Europe. The deals may include meals, soft drinks, sports, kids‟ club and entertainment options. Social media has made everyone a holiday expert, the upshot of which is a far more knowledgeable traveller. Kuoni‟s Personal Travel Experts can match and exceed this knowledge, thereby living up to its tagline, „Crafted by Kuoni‟. Holidays are also being driven by emotional need, less so star rating, and Kuoni has created nine icons to denote the different styles of holiday available, from those for families to holidays suited to sun and socialising, for example.
Top 10 Destinations 2012 1. Maldives 2. Thailand 3. Sri Lanka 4. USA 5. United Arab Emirates 6. Mauritius 7. Barbados 8. St Lucia 9. Italy 10. Malaysia
2013 1. Maldives 2. Thailand 3. Sri Lanka 4. USA 5. United Arab Emirates 6. Mauritius 7. Malaysia 8. Barbados 9. Singapore 10. St Lucia
The popularity of long-haul destinations hasn‟t diminished over the last 12 months, with no change in the top three positions. Ten-hour-plus flying time has been no deterrent when the destinations are as alluring as the Maldives, Thailand and Sri Lanka. The Maldives is the perfect beach and diving holiday destination and has consistently scooped Kuoni‟s top destination slot. Kuoni offers accommodation to suit all budgets, from three-to-five-star properties. The smart by Kuoni value properties such as the 3.5-star Velidhu and Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa Huraa hotels offer fantastic value. Velidhu‟s air conditioned beach and water bungalows offer every comfort, while the six-acre island paradise that is Chaaya Lagoon offers glass-bottomed water bungalows for your very own aquatic show. At the other end of the spectrum is the Kuoni exclusive resort of Maafushivaru that provides sublime luxury, including an overwater spa, new sushi and Teppanyaki restaurant with theatre kitchen and an uninhabited island nearby for a secluded Robinson Crusoe-style adventure. Thailand retains its second spot. Synonymous with excellent value and outstanding service, in 2013 Kuoni is offering ten exclusive properties, from Trip Advisor‟s top choice – Rocky‟s in a private location on the lush island of Koh Samui – to the new, laid back charm of Let‟s Sea in Hua Hin and the family friendly Holiday Inn Mai Khao in Phuket, which offers Kids Suites including play corner, games console, iPod docking station and so on. The fabulous beach, culture and touring adventures in Sri Lanka have kept this Indian Ocean jewel in third position. In 2013 Kuoni is predicting the emergence of two new resorts, Trincomalee on the north east and Passikudah on the east coast, and for the two Kuoni exclusive properties - the four-star Jetwing Sea in Negombo with its rooftop spa, and the three-star-plus Club Bentota, with extensive watersports, beachfront location and ayurvedic spa – to continue to be among travellers‟ first choice of places to stay. The USA retains 4th position in the chart, unsurprisingly for its amazing breadth of things to see and do, from iconic cities such as New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco and LA, to breathtaking scenery perfectly suited to selfdrive escapes, flexible adventures and tours.
The UAE in 5th place, again, offers something completely different: a touch of exotic Arabia mid-haul and with the bonus of little jetlag. Dubai is still the driving force of the region but Abu Dhabi is catching up and this year Kuoni has introduced the brand new five-star Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas on the cultural enclave that is Saadiyat Island. It‟s an exclusive sanctuary stretching along a nine-kilometre beach, with landscaped gardens, nearby golf club, balconied or terraced guest rooms or private villas, a wide selection of authentic cuisines and a luxurious bi-level spa.
Top 10 Wedding Destinations 2012 1. Sri Lanka 2. Mauritius 3. St Lucia 4. Antigua 5. USA 6. Jamaica 7. Thailand 8. Barbados 9. Seychelles 10. Kenya & Italy
2013 1. Sri Lanka 2. Mauritius 3. USA 4. St Lucia 5. Antigua 6. Thailand 7. Jamaica 8. Barbados 9. Kenya 10. Italy
With the exception of Seychelles, the same ten fabulously inspirational wedding destinations make up our 2013 chart as they did in 2012. Sri Lanka and Mauritius top the table, offering sun-kissed weddings in stunning locations, coupled with excellent service. The USA has risen two places, to third, fuelled by the popularity of New York for weddings, including civil partnerships. St Lucia in fourth spot is another sun baked wedding destination that also offers good value for money. Some hotels even offer free weddings. Thailand in sixth place is another great value destination. Hotels such as the secluded Centara Villas on a private beach offers a „Just the two of us‟ packages for approximately £450 that takes some beating. Kenya in ninth place, having moved up one spot, offers unconventional weddings a la „walk on the wild side‟ with wedding ceremonies on the Maasai Mara‟s open savannah plains or on a tranquil beach, or a combination of both. Italy has also moved up one spot. It is the only short-haul destination in Kuoni‟s Top 10 table but is unsurprising because of its well-deserved reputation as a romantic destination. The likes of Rome or Venice are the ideal backdrop for somewhere to tie the knot, coupled with culinary delights, great beaches and glittering lakes. Lake Como, the Amalfi coast, the beaches in Sardinia and Sicily, unspoilt Puglia in the south and rural countryside in Tuscany; they are all just a short flight away. Visit castles in Puglia, chic boutiques in Milan, picture postcard villages on the Neapolitan Riviera, marvel at Rome‟s stunning Sistine Chapel, sail to the idyllic island of Capri, visit great artistic treasures in Florence and Sienna, or people watch on Sardinia‟s glitzy Costa Smeralda.
Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations 2012 1. Maldives 2. Sri Lanka 3. UAE 4. Thailand 5. Mauritius 6. USA 7. Malaysia 8. Indonesia 9. St Lucia 10. Italy
2013 1. Maldives 2. UAE 3. Thailand 4. Sri Lanka 5. USA 6. Mauritius 7. Indonesia 8. Malaysia 9. Singapore 10. Mexico
Once again, the Maldives reigns supreme in the honeymoon stakes, coveting the top slot as the ultimate honeymoon destination. Its superlative resorts, many with luxury water villas, join with the year-round sunny climate, fantastic beaches, romantic experiences such as candlelit dinners on the beach and sunset cruises, and hotels to suit all budgets, to make these islands simply aspirational. Amazing offers, such as an exclusive overnight luxury yacht cruise when staying at the luxurious Four Seasons resorts of Kuda Huraa and the remote island hideaway of Landaa Giraavaru, make the Maldives even more appealing. Water villas and beach bungalows make the most of the sublime surroundings. The UAE has jumped two spots to close in behind the Maldives. Getting there is easy for this mid-haul destination, plus there are over-the-top hotels to languish in, cultural excursions such as the gold souks and romantic nights under the stars to enjoy, the pulse of a city location and the major draw of endless high-end shops. Thailand in third place excels in smaller hideaway resorts perfect for honeymoons. Places such as Six Senses Yao Noi, Koh Lanta, and Kao Lak are making their mark alongside Thailand‟s excellent beach and city-based resorts. At Yao Noi, Mountain View villas are elevated above lush, tropical forest while at Koh Lanta each of the 55 hideaway villas have private pools and are set into the hillside that is part of a mature rubber tree plantation. The USA moves up one place to 5th place, and two iconic cities account for America‟s increasing popularity. San Francisco wins hands down as the most popular US destination and travellers gravitate to the affordable luxury of Handlery Union Square Hotel downtown. It‟s followed closely by the five-star Bellagio resort and casino and the entertainment-rich MGM Grand resort and casino in the pulsating city of Las Vegas. No surprise that Mauritius is in the Top 10 – in sixth place – echoeing its second slot in the Top 10 Weddings Destinations table. The island offers enticing honeymoon offers, romantic Champagne dinners and pampering spas.
Bali‟s perfect weather in June, July and August is one factor in Indonesia‟s 7th place, but the magic of the island – its green terraces, colourful festivals and ceremonies, lively bars and trendy beaches - offer still more reasons to honeymoon here. Singapore and Mexico are the two new entrants, at ninth and tenth spot respectively. The mega successful island nation of Singapore is the perfect base for a multi-centre honeymoon, with Borneo or Australia. Singapore typifies the „big trip‟ type holiday booked a long way in advance, in contrast to Italy – ousted from the Top Ten in 2013 – which is booked closer to date of departure. Mexico, meanwhile, in at No 10 spot, is growing as a more adventurous honeymoon destination, helped by the increased number of flights from Gatwick, good value packages including All Inclusive deals, and resorts such as the romantic, adults-only resort Secrets, with its gourmet restaurants and plentiful activities. Jungle safaris effortlessly mix with luxury beach-based stays in this increasingly popular honeymoon destination.
Top 5 Holidays For Singles 2012 1. Thailand 2. Sri Lanka 3. Maldives 4. Switzerland 5. Egypt
2013 1. Thailand 2. Maldives 3. Sri Lanka 4. India 5. Switzerland
Carefree singletons are booking their holidays to an almost identical list of Top 5 destinations this year as they did last. Long-haul destinations dominate the list, and those synonymous with a friendly culture, that are safe, with a surfeit of activities and offering high service levels. Thus Thailand stays firm in the Number 1 slot, with a host of tours to choose from, renowned personal service, iconic sites and fabulous food. Single travellers can choose between a volunteering holiday in Chiang Mai, unspoilt beach resorts to languish in, rich cultural traditions to dip in and out of and unparalleled landscapes to marvel at. Marvellous Maldives needs no explanation. This island paradise is the perfect destination for those who want to get away from it all and absolute nirvana for watersports enthusiasts. Sri Lanka boasts plentiful iconic sights and Kuoni is one of the few tour operators to explore Sri Lanka‟s unspoilt East Coast, with three new beach resorts. There are lots of tours that appeal, including the back-to-nature option of the socially-responsible Nature & Culture tour. India is an interesting addition to the Top 5. Straight in at fourth position, its pull is partly the fantastic touring opportunities around the iconic sights across the length and breadth of the country. Beautiful palaces and temples – not least the majestic white marble Taj Mahal inside the Golden Triangle – charming cities, exotic cultures, the world‟s highest mountain range and some of the world‟s most glorious white-sand beaches, the deserts of Rajasthan, sacred rivers and Keralan backwaters to cruise, India has it all. Tours of all these fanstastic sights and experiences provide safety in numbers and instant travelling buddies. Switzerland in fifth spot is the only short-haul destination. It scores highly for safety and it is also dotted with family-run establishments that are more comfortable for solo travellers to stay in. Moreover, it offers the Big Outdoors; its snow-capped peaks and ice glaciers form a stunning backdrop for activities such as cycling, trekking and mountain biking around its scenic mountains and lakes. But that‟s not all: Switzerland also offers Chocolate Box villages, cultural cities, aerial cableways, healing thermal springs, Alpine golf and contemporary architecture.
Top 5 Tours 2012 1. Ceylon Tour 2. Taj Tour 3. Vietnamese Discovery 4. Safari Experience 5. Borneo Adventure
2013 1. Taj Tour 2. Ceylon Tour 3. Vietnamese Discovery 4. Borneo Adventure 5. Enchanting Cuba
It is clear that serious culture vultures are thriving, keen to discover the maximum from their holiday destination. There has been very little movement in the Top 5 Tours between last year and this but some clear jostling of positions. 2012s top Ceylon Tour – taking in the major archaeological, historical and scenic sights of Sri Lanka over 11 nights - has been pipped to the post by the six-night Taj Tour this year. The latter soaks up all the colourful sights of India, including the white marble Taj Mahal, the pink palace of Jaipur, the Amber Fort, Old Delhi and Lutyen‟s New Delhi. Vietnam‟s popularity continues apace and this nine-night escorted tour mixes Mekong Delta and Halong Bay cruises with land-based sights, including Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City and a cyclo tour of Hanoi‟s Old Quarter. Borneo Adventure moves up one slot to 4th position while Enchanting Cuba enters the Top 5 for the first time as an intriguing part of the Caribbean with a very different culture worth getting to know on this 11-night tour.
Holidays driven by emotional needs For a long time Kuoni has realised that holidays are not booked exclusively on the star rating of a resort but chosen to satisfy a particular emotional need. Perhaps a couple wants to have some quality time together, or explore and discover a new destination, or simply pamper their body. To meet these very different needs from a holiday, last year Kuoni created nine icons that depict these different needs and labeled each holiday, in all their brochures, accordingly. The nine icons help take some of the guesswork out of the holiday decision, and reflect the type of holiday it would create. The nine are: 1. Mind, Body & Soul: A holiday that will rest mind, body and soul. These are probably the most popular style of holiday, where holidaymakers re-charge their batteries in places such as the tiny jewel that is Sarojin Khao Lak in Thailand, or in Malaysia‟s best spa, at Pangkor Laut, or the luxurious Qualia hotel on Hamilton Island, home to the Australia‟s Great Barrier Reef. Other examples include Fusion Maia Hoi An in Vietnam, Song Saa in Cambodia, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray in Dubai, Shangri-La in Oman, Hilton Luxor in Egypt, Ananda in the Himalayas and Manaltheram Goa in India. 2. Away from it all: A relaxing escape where holidaymakers can really unwind. Keyonna, the all-Inclusive and Exclusive property on a secluded beach in Antigua, sums up this category, so too Maafushivaru in the Maldives, and Cape Panwa on a secluded beach in Thailand. Other examples include Rasa Ria in Borneo, the Sugar Cane Club in Barbados, Anse Chastanet in St Lucia and Astroea Beach in Mauritius. 3. Time together: A holiday of uninterrupted time together and where relaxation and rejuvenation are the order of the day. The child-free Layana Resort in Thailand‟s Koh Lanta typifies this style of holiday, with its simple, stylish and outstanding service. Another example is the luxurious beach resort and environmentally friendly hotel of Andaman Langkawi in Malaysia. Nature walks to view the abundant wildlife, pampering at the V Botanical Spa, an evening nature walk together or a day cruise around the islands of Langkawi make for a relaxing time just for the two of you. 4. For Families: somewhere that will keep the kids happy for hours. Our Top 5 family-friendly places are Kuramathi in the Maldives, Atlantis the Palm in Dubai, St James Club on Morgan Bay in the lush Caribbean isle of St Lucia, the Verandah Resort & Spa in neighbouring Antigua, and Long Beach in Mauritius. All provide a wide choice of activity along with the natural element of sand and sea.
One to watch is the Holiday Inn Mai Khao in Phuket. Exclusive to Kuoni, it offers quiet, unspoilt beaches with plenty of activities, plus superb kids suites and rooms designed specially for families. 5. Holiday with Friends: A holiday that offers extensive leisure facilities, from sun terraces to a gym and a variety of sports, as well as entertainment and friendly accommodation. The social resort of Bandara in Thailand‟s Koh Samui perfectly blends daytime activities with the lovely restaurants and bars of nearby Fisherman‟s Cove. Alternatively, the adult-only Body Holiday in St Lucia crammed with activities or, for the more adventurous, a road trip in Canada to see everything from grizzly bears to glaciers. A note here about trends between men and women travellers. We have noticed more groups of women travel together than men and it‟s mostly for shopping weekends and pampering wellness breaks. On average women are 34% more likely to travel as a group than men. In terms of where they book, it‟s the n0-expenses-spared Maldives that comes out as the number one „girlie‟ destination. 6. Sun & Socialising: a holiday offering the perfect place for catching the rays, while, in the evening, offering party lovers a lively area of bars and restaurants within walking distance. The sunset bar at the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru in Malaysia is the place to be. The hotel also offers regular entertainment. Ocean Two in Barbados and Rendezvous in St Lucia are other great Sun & Socialising venues, so too Bandara in Thailand. The Bandara Suite Hotel Bangkok seamlessly combines comfort and refuge from bustling downtown Bangkok while its resort and spa in Samui is a quick jaunt away from Chaweng Beach. 7. I want it all: As the name suggests, a holiday that has it all, from exciting activities, cultural diversions, shopping, spas and a great place to stay. The wonderful beach, half dozen swimming pools, plentiful restaurants and bars and much more make Kata Thani in Phuket an ideal „I want it all‟ resort. Equally tantalising are Windjammer in St Lucia and Hilton Barbados on the island of the same name. 8. Explore & Discover: Those destinations offering adventures for the active holidaymaker. It might be travelling to Australia‟s magical Red Centre to view the Aborigine‟s sacred Uluru region, or to the hill tribes and northern mountainous region of Vietnam or the Maasai Mara and Serengeti on a safari around Kenya and Tanzania. 9. Go Beyond: A holiday that goes to often uncharted territory, with
perhaps little tourist infrastructure but which makes up for it with bags of excitement and novelty. It could be an Alaskan cruise, untouched Burma, an exhilarating Kilimanjaro climb, a glimpse of the gorillas in Rwanda or to marvel at the wildlife and landscapes of exotic Costa Rica.
Future Trends Social media Social media is driving much consumer behaviour. Many holidaymakers will check out TripAdvisor and similar sites before touching the „Buy‟ button online or before visiting a High Street travel agent. Moreover, consumers will follow their favourite bloggers and tweets from friends to form their opinions. They view this online word of mouth recommendation as the best unbiased review they can garner and it increasingly colours their final choice of holiday. Luxury A new phrase, „luxury fatigue‟ has entered our lexicon and it refers to those sophisticated consumers looking for something different, such as made-toorder and made-to-measure or in holiday terms, bespoke. These are the findings of Claire Kent, a luxury industry consultant, who firmly believes this trend will accelerate. She also predicts that high-end hotels and resorts, that might previously have raised an eyebrow at children, are now building family-sized villas to accommodate high-pressured, high-earners who want to bond with their children and relatives. The new norm Set against the uncertain global economic outlook, aspirational consumers are becoming increasingly price sensitive and trading down. The need for recession-friendly products and services is key and in response to this, Kuoni launched a sub-brand called smart which perfectly fills this emerging niche in the marketplace. Kuoni‟s Smart brand perfectly fills the budget space, in tandem with the increasing popularity of All-Inclusive holidays and couples booking their wedding and honeymoons early to take advantage of any Early Bird deals and to ensure availability. Experience No longer satisfied with being one step removed from a destination, customers want to get under the skin of it and experience the place as an insider. They want authentic experiences. “As the sophisticated luxury customer has progressed to an increasingly pared-down lifestyle so the interest in „experiences‟ has increased. This impacts most on the hotel, restaurant and travel industries but also extends to stores”, notes the Luxury Briefing Trends* report. Kuoni is ahead of the game here; with brochures full of authentic experiences that allow any traveller to really experience an insider‟s view of a destination. Girlfriend power
More groups of women travelling together is one noticeable trend; certainly far more than men. They travel together for girlie shopping weekends, city breaks, quality time to catch up or on wellness breaks. They are joined by equal number of Silver Surfers: those child-free, mortgagefree middle-aged travellers still with a spring in their step and time and disposable income on their side. They travel with companions, particularly widowers, and there is a growing trend for girlfriends holidaying with chums post divorce. Service There is no substitute for good service and customers are expecting greater levels of personal service today and in the future as a differentiator between suppliers. “Service will be king….and the service provider should go out of its way to keep the customer happy, because people are buying less”, concluded the Luxury Briefing report. Kuoni has expanded its retail presence in a bid to offer more face-to-face customer service. It is now present in 21 High Street retail shops, where customers can tap into Kuoni‟s unparalleled expertise face-to-face. It is also present in four John Lewis stores, in London‟s Oxford Street, Southampton, Reading and Cardiff.
Innovations Kuoni is constantly innovating. In 2011 ananea was born, a collection of sustainable holidays, experiences and volunteering that come with a feel good factor. Travellers can be proud to be a good corporate citizen when they purchase an ananea holiday. In 2011 the momentum continued when Kuoni launched its Discover brochure – a brochure brimming with tailor-made journeys and authentic experiences giving holidaymakers a chance to Find out, Learn, Notice, Realise and See by shaping their own itineraries. More initiatives came in the form of a new pricing strategy that made tailormaking the perfect holiday even easier. Customers are now in the driving seat and can chose from tours in the brochure and then are able to tweak their duration, bolt-on beach resort perhaps or with products now listed separately, they can make up their holiday from scratch. For example, in the USA brochure there are pages dotted throughout listed as tailor made so in San Francisco, a tour of the Napa Sonoma wine country can be stitched together with a trip to Alcatraz and climbing up the Golden Gate Bridge. Kuoni also made it easier for holidaymakers to choose the right holiday by labelling its holidays by nine „needs‟ icons, whether that be family, time alone with a partner or sun and socialising. And helping to make the holiday pound go farther, Kuoni launched its first All Inclusive brochure in 2012 to help with budgeting for a holiday and having it pre-paid.
The new look website now incorporates Kuoni‟s network of destination insiders with regular stories on Kuoni‟s blog from Kuoni‟s Personal Travel Experts drawing on their own personal experience. Responsible Travel Travellers increasingly have a conscience about booking planet-friendly holidays and the influence of Generation X and Y will impact this trend further. Customers are more aware of sustainable tourism and are popularising Kuoni‟s initiatives in this area, such as volunteering holidays and those partnered with the likes of Born Free, Fair Trade Tourism South Africa and Earthwatch. Paradoxically, there is such a thing as Eco Luxury and luxury industry consultant Claire Kent expects all consumers to show increasing interest in ethical issues. She says: “I find it fascinating how rapidly consumers have been prepared to trade down from their 4x4s to a Mini or tiny Fiat. But ultimately the product itself has to stand up to scrutiny…It will need to be special to succeed.”
* Source: Luxury Briefing Trends
Conclusions While many things stay the same, as many things are changing, and changing fast. The phrase, Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, has never been more apt. The emergence of a new, planet-conscious consumer will colour holiday choices, so too Generation X and Y who are techno savvy and will draw on social media to help make their choices. More sophisticated and knowledgeable consumers will demand more of their holidays, for one, and also expect improved customer service. At the top end of the pile, luxury is being re-defined and will shape future hotel developments, in terms of incorporating facilities for children and what constitutes out-and-out luxury. The world‟s austere economic outlook will drive a greater need for opportunities to escape the doom and gloom. The power of a holiday will not diminish and the allure of the Maldives, Thailand and Sri Lanka will continue. And as the world shrinks, holidaymakers will continue to become more adventurous. They are already gravitating towards more once-in-a-lifetime experiences and adventures and this trend will continue. The empty nesters are out in force. Flush with disposable income, they want to make up for lost time and travel to all corners of the globe. They stretch 10day holidays to 14 days, building in down time on a beach after a hectic country-wide tour. Kuoni is selling more Discover and Touring type holidays, particularly for India. TV programmes such as The X Factor have played their part in selling longhaul destinations, so too our seeming obsession with any celebrity and their holiday hotspot. X Factor has helped put Jade Mountain on the map, and Barbados in general, for example. due to the number of footballers with homes there. Meanwhile the more urbane Michael Palin has contributed to long haul travel with his entertaining look at Brazil on BBC One. Bookings to Brazil have definitely been boosted as a result. With a major football event – the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil – not far away and its burgeoning economy anchoring the powerhouses of the BRIC countries, Brazil is definitely a country to watch. Another is the high profile adventures of Simon Reeve with his epic journey around the Indian Ocean on BBC2, aired last spring. All play their part in raising the awareness and the curiosity of intrepid travellers keen to experience the new, the untried and the sustainable holiday.
About Kuoni Kuoni History & Awards: Kuoni (www.kuoni.co.uk) was established in 1906 in Switzerland by Alfred Kuoni, a visionary adventurer and explorer of his time who opened some of Europe‟s first travel agencies. Today Kuoni has branch operations in over 40 countries. For 106 years‟ Kuoni has been creating holidays with a spirit of adventure. Kuoni is ABTA and ATOL protected, giving customers financial protection and ensuring they won‟t be stranded abroad. Kuoni has over 170 awards to its name; including coming top of a „Which?‟ Recommended Provider survey, due to the company‟s reliability and „excellent customer care‟; been voted World‟s Leading Tour Operator for 11 years in a row at the World Travel Awards; Britain‟s Favourite Tour Operator as voted by the readers of Ultra Travel (Daily Telegraph) and the Daily Mail; Best Luxury Tour Operator at The Sunday Times Travel Magazine Readers‟ Awards 2012 and been voted Britain‟s Best Longhaul Tour Operator by travel agents for the past 29 years. Kuoni Stores & Partnership Stores: For customers who like to book a holiday face-to-face with their own personal consultant, they are invited to pop into one of Kuoni‟s 22 exclusive travel stores across the UK or one of four Kuoni Partnership Stores, which are leading independent travel agents with a first class reputation in their towns and cities. With stylish décor, impeccable service and the expert knowledge of Personal Travel Experts, Kuoni strive to make sure that customers‟ holidays start the second they walk through the door. Kuoni stores can be found in: High Street Kensington, Knightsbridge and London City, Bluewater, Bristol, Cambridge, Canterbury, Cheltenham, Chichester, Dorking, Kingston, Guildford, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Sheffield, Solihull, Westfield Stratford and Winchester. Kuoni at John Lewis stores in: Cardiff, London, Reading and Southampton. Kuoni Partnership Stores include: Baldwins Travel Agency Ltd, Maidstone; Peter Goord Travel, Plymouth; Travel Bureau, Gosforth; World Market Travel, Bath. Kuoni Ethical Commitment: The aim of Kuoni‟s Corporate Responsibility (CR) policy is to minimise the adverse impact of tourist travel and maximise its positive effects in the long term by empowering people to protect the natural environment and local populations. Kuoni has over 40 active global CR projects and four priority areas: protecting children from sexual abuse in tourism; promoting fair working conditions; finding solutions for water scarcity and mitigating the consequences of climate change. Kuoni is also an active member of Travelife. Kuoni‟s customers and staff are encouraged to be active in achieving sustainable travel. See the Corporate Responsibility Report: www.kuoni-corporate-responsibility.com Join Kuoni on the following social media channels: Facebook Twitter Storify Tumblr YouTube
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