Kuoni is putting a new focus on introducing its largest range of luxury short-haul holidays.
The strategic move is designed to strengthen the operator’s position for special occasion travel around the world, particularly honeymoons.
Around 30% of all Kuoni’s bookings for 2022 are for honeymoons, with many couples re-booking after cancelled wedding plans resulting from Covid lockdown restrictions.
Honeymoons and other special occasion trips are in demand for next year.
The average honeymoon booking value has risen by 13% from £7,985 in 2019 to £9,045 for 2022.
Multi-centre ‘coast, culture and countryside’ itineraries in Europe with private transfers or car hire in between locations are being stepped up, using a bespoke booking service and specialist knowledge.
Greece, Malta and Croatia all feature, 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.
Twelve hotels have been added in Italy with new options in Tuscany including Siena for the first time. Other properties feature 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 beyond the beach, with new options in Granada, Cordoba, Marbella and Estepona in Andalucia as well as luxury retreats on Majorca and Ibiza.
Cities and regions have been added in Portugal including Porto and the Douro Valley as well as Lisbon.
Care has been taken throughout to select hotels with a sustainable ethos, including the Casale Panayiotis (pictured) 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.
Seven nights start at £749 per person on a room and breakfast basis on selected departures based on British Airways from London Gatwick.
Kuoni chief executive Derek Jones 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.”