The top long-haul destinations for 2014 are revealed – plus the ‘rising stars’ of holidays

According to new research, adventurous Britons will be heading to far-flung destinations in 2014. But it seems that we are still won over by the lure of a luxury resort and a pristine white beach.

The Maldives remains the top long-haul option for British holidaymakers – followed by Thailand and Sri Lanka – according to a new report that predicts travel trends for 2014.

Malaysia, Cuba and Singapore also appear in the list of the top ten destinations, which are based on advance sales to the end of January 2014.

Honeymoon favourite: The Maldives remains the top long-haul destination for the ninth year running

Honeymoon favourite: The Maldives remains the top long-haul destination for the ninth year running

The Maldives takes the number one spot for the ninth year running.

The report’s author, tour operator Kuoni, says the destination continues to be its bestseller due to its Robinson Crusoe-style desert islands, luxury resorts and the range of activities on offer, such as diving and sailing.

Kuoni’s best-selling destinations for 2014

1. Maldives
2. Thailand
3. Sri Lanka
4. United Arab Emirates
5. USA
6. Mauritius
7. Malaysia
8. Cuba
9. Antigua
10. Singapore

The company predicts that Kandolhu Island – a tiny island with just 30 beach and over-water villas that opens later this month – will become a favourite with honeymooners.

The popularity of Thailand and Sri Lanka is attributed to the fact that both are ‘rich in culture and combine a wide range of experiences, from their vibrant cities and gorgeous beaches to natural wonders and the warm smiles of the locals’.

The company said Malaysia’s rise indicates a shift towards holidays that offer variety – from the chance to relax on its golden beaches to the possibility of exploring Sarawak and Sabah in Malaysian Borneo and the ‘strikingly beautiful’ Langkawi archipelago.

Cuba’s entry into the top ten for the first time in three years highlights the ‘excellent value’ offered by its all-inclusive hotels, while the company says that Singapore’s breakthrough into the top ten is due to the growing trend for combining a city break with a beach destination.

Mauritius has taken over from Sri Lanka as the top spot for weddings. But the top five honeymoon destinations remain the same for a third year running, with the Maldives, Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates taking these slots respectively.

Natural appeal: Malaysia's 'strikingly beautiful' Langkawi archipelago proves a draw for UK tourists

Natural appeal: Malaysia’s ‘strikingly beautiful’ Langkawi archipelago proves a draw for UK tourists

Vietnam is the company’s number one ‘Rising Star’ (the holiday destination with the biggest sales increases outside the top ten). The country was 23rd in Kuoni’s list of best-selling locations in 2011, but was 14th at the end of 2013. Mexico is up to 17th from 29th in 2011.

Vietnam’s rise in popularity is attributed to the launch of direct flights from the UK, along with improved infrastructure and hotel construction in the country.

Kuoni managing director Derek Jones says: ‘Vietnam has seen huge developments in its tourism industry over the last few years, with investment in a wide choice of hotels and sightseeing options.

‘Access to the country has become much easier since Vietnam Airlines launched direct flights from the UK in 2011 and we are now seeing the impact of that.

‘We expect to see it move into our top 10 this year for the first time.’

Rising star: Mexico was dubbed 'one to watch' thanks to its gorgeous beaches and Mayan ruins<br /><br />

Rising star: Mexico was dubbed ‘one to watch’ thanks to its gorgeous beaches and Mayan ruins

Tanzania is number two on the ‘rising star’ list – followed by Mexico, which earns its place due to the ‘great value and quality of its all-inclusive range combined with a wealth of things to see and do, from the gorgeous beaches of the Caribbean to the Mayan ruins at sites such as Tulum and Chichen Itza’.

Kuoni said the country was ‘one to watch for the future’, following the announcement last year that the Mexican government plans to invest $8.6 billion (£5.3 million) in the travel and tourism sector over the next three years.

[Via Mail Online]


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