Luxury operator Abercrombie & Kent has reported increased inquiries as the deployment of the Covid-19 vaccine generates more optimism among consumers.

It said destinations in Africa and the Middle East are increasingly popular, and families and friends “who have a year of pent-up savings” want to spend some quality time together.

Kerry Golds, managing director of Abercrombie & Kent, said: “We’ve seen enquiries from that over-50 bracket double week-on-week.

“Africa, Europe, Egypt and Indian Ocean are fuelling the demand.

“Our Cox & Kings group tours for late 2021 and into 2022 are proving very popular with a sharp upturn in enquiries, led by South America, India, and the Middle East.”

The operator said Egypt continues to attract demand, “perhaps with the pandemic fuelling demand to do the bucket list trip of a Nile cruise and seeing the pyramids”.

This year will see the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum after 19 years under construction.

Holidays for Sanctuary Retreats in several African destinations are also seeing strong sales for the year ahead with key booking periods in high demand for larger groups.

At the top end of the price range, those who have the means to travel by private jet are doing so.

A&K offers a private jet as part of some of its tailor-made itineraries, and on the back of demand the operator has introduced special group journeys, including one with founder Geoffrey Kent onboard A&K’s own private Boeing 757 plane.

A&K is also taking many enquiries for expedition cruises, especially in polar regions.

It is celebrating 30 years of expedition cruising this year and to mark the anniversary, A&K founder Geoffrey Kent will host a new expedition through The Northeast Passage: Across the Russian Arctic.