Tanzania, the Maldives and Hong Kong are the top three fastest growing tourist destinations booked with Travel Counsellors Ireland. Since last November, bookings for Tanzania have risen by 399%, for the Maldives by 196%, and for Hong Kong by 135%.
Long-haul destinations in general are also up across the board, with Travel Counsellors reporting that bookings for winter 2018/2019 have increased by 26%. Summer 2019 long-haul is also up, rising by 345% when compared to the same booking period last year.
Cathy Burke, General Manager, Travel Counsellors Ireland, said: “The strength of long-haul travel is continuing and this is being led by greater direct access options, better value, and the rising cost of holidaying in Europe. For these reasons, bookings in the past nine months for next summer have tripled when compared to the same period last year.
“As it has done in the past few years, the USA is topping our long-haul booking list for the coming year, and is up 30%. This is followed by Mexico (36%), Australia (14%), United Arab Emirates (53%), and South Africa (22%). What is also interesting to see is the emerging travel destinations now making their way on to the must-do lists of Irish holidaymakers in the coming 12 months.
“The rise of interest in Tanzania is due to its top safari parks inland, combined with the beaches of Zanzibar. The safari options offer an authentic unspoilt experience, so people are going now before it gets too popular. There are also some memorable accommodation options now available, such as The Bush Rover Suites, which are fully working Land Rovers that, once in-situ, fold out into elevated bedrooms with balconies.
“The Maldives is becoming increasingly popular with honeymooners, couples, and families. Many of the islands offer all-inclusive so what appears to be expensive at the outset is actually good value for money as you have little to spend when you get there.”
With Hong Kong, the rise in bookings is being attributed to the non-stop flight from Dublin that is now available. “Cathay Pacific launched its four times weekly service back in June and it is proving very popular with Travel Counsellors’ clients as a gateway to China and other parts of Asia,” said Cathy.
On the top European destinations list for bookings, Travel Counsellors reports Spain in first position, up 6%, followed by Italy, Portugal and France.