Sri Lanka is among Kuoni’s top-selling destinations for 2020, just under a year after terror attacks crushed the country’s tourism industry.

The island country came fourth in Kuoni’s annual list of best-selling destinations.

The operator said even though it was down two places compared to last year, its “steady recovery is a reflection of the country’s resilience and diverse appeal”.

More: Gallery: Kuoni Worldwide Travel Report 2020 launch

The Easter Sunday bombings killed more than 250 people and led to the Foreign Office advising against all but essential travel.

Visitors in May were down 70% year on year but after the FCO changed its advice six weeks later on June 6, along with other countries, visitor numbers began to rise.


Meanwhile, the Maldives topped the list for the 17th year running, with Mauritius and Thailand second and third respectively.

Bali moved up one place to come fifth – the first upturn in two years, as the destination recovered from earthquakes in Lombok and the Gili Islands in 2018.

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Bookings for small group escorted touring are up 10%, according to Kuoni’s 2020 Worldwide Travel Report which was released on Monday.

It said the rise was driving growth for Vietnam which topped the list of its group touring destinations for the first time, knocking India off the top spot.

The Nile is the best-selling river cruise destination with bookings for its Jewels of the Nile itinerary up 20%.

Kuoni head of communications Rachel O’Reilly

Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Turkey are the best-performing European destinations respectively.

“Brexit is having less of a bearing on European sales compared to this time last year and Greece has also gone up two places,” the report said.

Family bookings have increased 10% year on year with a “clear trend for grandparents paying to take the whole family away”.

Campervan road trips in the USA, African safaris and tailor-made trips to Japan have all seen an upturn, according to the report.

The company also said there is a growing consumer awareness of environmental issues over the past year, with “social and environmental sustainability practices coming to the fore”.

The Maldives

Kuoni’s top 10 best-selling destinations for 2020:

  1. Maldives
  2. Mauritius
  3. Thailand
  4. Sri Lanka
  5. Bali
  6. Italy
  7. USA
  8. Vietnam
  9. Antigua
  10. South Africa