Kuoni reveals a major expansion of luxury European holidays as it eyes short-haul growth for 2022.
It’s long been famous for luxury long-haul trips to places like the Maldives, Caribbean and Thailand, but now Kuoni is putting a new focus on launching its biggest ever range of luxury short-haul holidays.
The worldwide travel company has spent the past few months handpicking and contracting a new range of luxury short-haul places to stay – expanding into new cities and regions it has never previously sold.
The strategic move is designed to strengthen Kuoni’s position for special occasion travel around the world, particularly honeymoons. Around 30% of all Kuoni’s bookings for 2022 are for honeymoons, with lots of couples re-booking after cancelled wedding plans resulting from lockdown restrictions.
Honeymoons and other special occasion trips are in demand for next year. Many people are saving and splashing out to make their milestone trip one to remember and an increasing number of couples are looking for beautiful experiences closer to home. Average honeymoon booking value has risen by 13% from £7,985 in 2019 to £9,045 for 2022 as couples push the boat out to make their trip memorable.
Multi-centre “coast, culture and countryside” itineraries in Europe with private transfers or car hire in between locations is something Kuoni plans to step up, using its bespoke booking service and specialist knowledge to create ultra-special holidays which aren’t just fly and flop.
Derek Jones, CEO of Kuoni said: “Whilst short-haul isn’t new for us, the size and scale of what we’ve created is and we think people are going to love it.
“This is about differentiating what we do from the mainstream travel operators and adding value, creating something bespoke for our clients that they can’t simply book online. We’re seeing more demand for luxury short-haul travel and people want more than just a beach stay. Our clients are looking for experiences, culture and places to stay on and off the beaten track. As part of our recovery plan we will continue to be the specialist for special occasion trips anywhere in the world.”
In Italy, Kuoni has introduced 12 new hotels with new options in Tuscany including Siena for the first time, which is one of Italy’s best-preserved medieval towns. Other Tuscan retreats have also been chosen to offer a blend of peaceful, off the beaten track experiences from truffle hunting to cookery classes to create holidays with a blend of city culture and authentic Italian lifestyle.
Other new hotels have been added in Lake Garda, Verona and Sicilian capital of Palermo.
A further 31 hotels have been added in other destinations throughout the Mediterranean.
The collection in Spain has grown significantly beyond the beach, with new options in Granada, Cordoba, Marbella and Estepona in Andalucia as well as luxury retreats on the islands of Mallorca and Ibiza.
In Portugal new cities and regions have been added including Porto and the Douro Valley as well as Lisbon.
Greece, Malta and Croatia all have something new including boutique hotels, villas and suites, to offer flexibility for extended groups and families.
Greece is now Kuoni’s second best-selling short-haul destination, with increasing demand from couples and families. New luxury properties have been added in Rhodes, Crete, Corfu and Halkidiki, which all have unique selling points from wellbeing programmes to locally sourced food.
Care has been taken throughout to select hotels with a sustainable ethos.
An example of a community-based tourism story is the Casale Panayiotis in the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus, set in an ancient spa village. Rooms and suites are spread out in individual houses throughout the village with traditional menus created from locally grown food in local communities. Experiences range from mountain walks to halloumi making and orchard visits to wine tasting.
Sample holidays and prices:
Seven night in the five start Avaton Luxury Hotel and Villas on a room and breakfast basis in a deluxe room balcony sea view from £1,799 per person which applies to departure 05th July 2022 and includes saving of 20%. Flights based on British Airways from London Gatwick
Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Give nights at the five star Villa Igiea, A Rocco Forte Hotel staying in a superior room on a room and breakfast basis from £1,899 per person and applies to selected departures in June 2022 with a saving of up to 10%. Flights based on British Airways from London Heathrow.
Troodos Mountains, Cyprus
Seven nights at the four star Casale Panayiotis staying in a comfort studio from £749# per person on a room and breakfast basis and applies to selected departures in June 2021, including one bonus night.Flights based on British Airways from London Gatwick.
Lake Garda, Italy
Five nights at the five star Villa del Sogno in a standard double room from £1,099 per person on a room and breakfast basis and applies to selected departures in June 2022 including one bonus night. Flights based on British Airways from London Gatwick.
Porto & the Douro Valley, Portugal
Twin centre trip which includes four nights at the five star Vintage House Hotel on a room and breakfast basis + three nights at the five star Vila Foz from £1,599 per person which applies to selected departures in June 2022 and includes saving up to £144 per couple. Flights based on British Airways from London Gatwick.
Florence & Siena, Italy
Twin centre including two nights at the Hotel Brunelleschi on a room and breakfast basis plus four nights at the Grand Hotel Continental Siena from £1,979 per person and applies to selected departures in May 2022, including saving of 10%. Flights based on British Airways from London Heathrow.