Kuoni says Maldives top travel destination in 2021

Holiday plans for thousands of us have been thrown into disarray this year due to the Covid-19 crisis, but now the big overseas trip is back for 2021 and the year after with advance bookings taking off.

Enquiries and bookings for departures more than a year out are well ahead of where they would usually be at this point, according to worldwide travel company Kuoni, as people anticipate a return to more normal life beyond the pandemic.

A new report from luxury worldwide travel company reveals saving and upgrading is a trend as people pull out all the stops to make next year’s holiday extra special with the average spend per booking rising by £683 ($924) from £8,549 ($11,569) in 2019 to £9,231 ($12,493) for 2021, based on advance bookings so far.

Kuoni reports seeing more people upgrade their holiday for next year with business class, helicopter transfers and extra experiences such as hot air balloon flights.

The Maldives tops the list of long-haul destinations in demand, given a boost by being granted a travel corridor with the UK but also buoyed by more direct flights and the appeal of isolated retreats with private pool villas which lend themselves perfectly to safe, away-from-it-all bubble accommodation.

“Travel plans have been put on hold this year along with so many other parts of our life but there is a determination out there to make next year’s holiday one to remember. Our phone lines are busy with new enquiries to places like Greece, Italy, The Maldives, Antigua and Kenya which are trusted favourites as well as adventurous multi-centre itineraries to destinations such as Botswana, Japan, the Seychelles, Thailand and Sri Lanka,” Kuoni chief executive Derek Jones said.

“We’re seeing two types of travellers emerge, those who are prepared to book and travel at short notice and those who are planning much further ahead, aiming to travel in a year’s time or more – they’re enjoying making plans and are excited about the idea of heading off to see the world again.”

Top destinations for travel in 2021, according to Kuoni:

  1. Maldives
  2. Italy
  3. Kenya
  4. Seychelles
  5. Greece
  6. Antigua
  7. Thailand
  8. Botswana
  9. Bali
  10. Sri Lanka
  11. Japan

The Maldives reopened its borders on July 15.

With the border reopening, 30-day free on-arrival visa is issued to all tourists with a confirmed booking for a stay at any registered tourist facility in the country.

There is no mandatory quarantine or testing on arrival, but tourists have to complete an online health declaration form and provide a negative PCR test result taken at least 96 hours prior to their departure.

Visitors with symptoms of the Covid-19 respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus or those travelling with someone who has similar symptoms are also tested at their own expense.

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