Kuoni hails growth in India sales, before latest blow

Jaipur India
By Linsey McNeill
10/10/2022
Home » Kuoni hails growth in India sales, before latest blow

Kuoni says India is one of several countries to have seen an increase in sales over the past couple of months as consumers become more optimistic about planning more complex, multi-centre itineraries.

However, last week’s sudden change in entry rules, which means that Brits planning trips to India must apply in person for a visa, is likely to hit future demand for the destination.

AITO has warned that its members alone stand to lose about £10m of sales as customers might not be able to secure face-to-face appointments before their trips,

Kuoni says its sales to India have just returned to 80% of pre-pandemic levels, when the country was its 13th most popular.

It says it has seen a ‘marked increase’ in enquiries recently since airlines started to resume normal services to India.

But in a letter to India’s High Commissioner in London, AITO warned that British holidaymakers will choose alternative destinations unless India makes it easier to obtain visas.

Other destinations that have seen rising demand over the past couple of months include Kenya and Costa Rica, says Kuoni

Late sales for Thailand are up 87% on 2019 following Thailand’s decision to relax COVID-related entry restrictions on 1 October.

Japan, which was one of the fastest-rising long-haul destinations pre-pandemic, has also announced a relaxation of COVID restrictions from 11 October, which is leading to rising demand, saysKuoni.

The strength of the pound against the rand is driving sales for South Africa, says the operator, while there has also been an uptick in demand for multi-country African itineraries following an easing of border restrictions.

Kuoni CEO Francis Torrilla said: “This time last year, people were booking more direct A to B flights to destinations which were open for travel and opting for safer, more straightforward trips.

“But now we’re seeing demand growing for multi-destination itineraries, and more complex travel arrangements for longer durations for up to three weeks as countries like Thailand and Japan finally drop their COVID entry restrictions and people start feeling more confident about the prospect of exploring the world again.”

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