The USA is predicted to become one of Kuoni’s top long haul destinations this year while other countries look set to drop down due to ongoing political problems.

The tour operator’s latest long haul report of the top 20 destinations, predicted that although favourites Maldives and Thailand look set to maintain the top two spots respectively, as they have done for 2006,  the USA is expected to come in at number three – up from sixth place last year.

However Egypt and Sri Lanka look set to see a downturn as popular destinations due to political problems and terrorist bombings.

Managing director Sue Biggs said following the “unwelcoming” perception and the visa issues in the USA, people were booking to go back.

She said: “With the strength of the pound, I think people are beginning to go back to America again. Sri Lanka has suffered, and parts of Egypt as well.”

Biggs explained that although the mass market to Red Sea was still doing well, Kuoni wanted to “reinstate” itself in classic Egypt.

Kuoni’s top 20 long haul destinations

Maldives1 1
Thailand2 2
Egypt3 9
Kenya4 4
Dubai5 5
USA6 3
Sri Lanka7 8
China (incl Hong Kong)8 6
Mauritius9 11
Singapore10 7
Malaysia11 13
India12 12
Australia13 10
Barbados14 16
St Lucia15 19
Antigua16 20
Cuba17 15
Tanzania18 14
Morocco19 17
New Zealand18