New enquiries for worldwide holidays in 2021 have picked up in the past week, according to Kuoni.

The operator has started receiving interest and bookings for next year as people in coronavirus lockdown using the time to plan holidays.

A “steady stream” of people are now calling to talk about making their 2021 trip one to remember, according to Kuoni.

The most popular trips for 2021 are the Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico and Antigua.

The BBC 2 series Race Across the World, which sees teams travel without flights or smartphones through South America, has sparked an increase in enquiries for the region.

Kuoni has just booked a tailor-made family trip to Brazil and made a number of bookings for small group tours to Argentina, Brazil and the Galapagos Islands.

Honeymoon bookings have also continued to come in with trips being confirmed for safaris in Kenya combined with beach extensions as well as fly-drives to California, Bali beach stays and tailor-made tours in Australia.

The company claimed a “clear uplift” in incoming calls over the past week, with an even split of new enquiries and customers calling back to re-book after their trip was cancelled.

The activity emerged as the operator looks to gradually add tactical sales messages to its marketing.

Kuoni chief executive Derek Jones said: “People are using their time at home to think about future travel plans – specifically for holidays next year by which time the crisis should have safely passed.

“We’ve seen a clear upswing of new enquiries, people coming to us for help and expertise to make their ideas come together.

“Our team has been talking about everything from tailor-made tours in Argentina to road trips in California, and are helping to bring those plans to life.”

Josh Naylor, who heads up a virtual team of Kuoni’s personal travel experts looking after new bookings, added: “Over the past week we’ve been talking to all sorts of customers from couples planning their honeymoon to families who want a special trip to look forward to with someone else doing the cooking and cleaning.

“We’ve had lots of luxury beach bookings but also conversations about escorted group tours.

“It’s clear there is still very much an appetite for travel and the longer people are locked down at home, the more time they’ve got to plan ahead.”

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