Travel industry sees boom in multi-country bookings


Leading luxury online tour operator key2holidays has identified a new travel trend of “country collecting”. Analysis of all bookings made with the company over the last 12 months has shown a massive rise in the number of clients booking multi-centre, multi-country holidays with some combinations showing a four-fold increase.

key2holidays’ research clearly shows the emergence of the “country collecting” phenomenon as holidaymakers increasingly include two or more countries in their annual holiday plans with equal time spent in each. This is opposed to traditional multi-centre itineraries that have been part of gap years or brief two-day stopovers in the Far East en route to a main holiday in Australia and New Zealand.

So far in 2008, seven out of ten clients are booking multi-centre itineraries with nearly one in five booking multi-country. Based on total bookings from 1 February 2007 to 31 January 2008, key2holidays’ most popular country combinations were ranked as follows (percentage increase on previous year shown):

1.Dubai and Maldives
2. Sri Lanka and Maldives
3. Bali and Singapore
4. Dubai and Mauritius
5. Mauritius and South Africa

Matthew Rushbrooke, Product Director, key2holidays commented: “We believe this trend is a result of several factors including improved air services offering better connections between regions, “time-poor” travellers wanting to see and do more on their holiday and the boom in experience travel that has spread across many types including honeymoons. key2holidays’ tailor-made expertise means our specialist consultants are particularly adept at planning this type of itineraries nearly anywhere in the world.”

Well-travelled Brits have become more adventurous however the beach remains an important component of multi-centre itineraries. Consumers are choosing to combine “chill out” beach time with a contrasting experience and destination offering unknown “off the beaten track” adventure, culture or city. Additionally holidaymakers are becoming “travel efficient” and having travelled a certain distance already want to capitalise on their journey to see more of the world rather than make another flight from the UK on another occasion.

Exciting new combinations predicted to top the charts for 2008 include:

– Oman and Thailand

For the ultimate holiday “bragging rights”, be amongst the first to combine these two destinations for a slice of authentic Arabian culture, lush landscapes and the rich marine life found in Muscat and the bustling metropolis of Bangkok. key2holidays offers 9-night holidays including four nights at the 5* Shangri La Hotel, Bangkok and five nights at the 5* Shangri La Al Bandar from £1,185.00 per person.

– Maldives, Singapore and Bangkok

Combine the ultimate island paradise of pristine beaches and turquoise sea with two of the most vibrant destinations in the Far East. Shop ‘til you drop in Singapore and explore Bangkok’s intoxicating blend of rich tradition and modernity. key2holidays offers 13-night holidays from £2,099.00 per person including seven nights at the 5* Antantara Maldives, three nights at the 5* Marina Mandarin Singapore and three nights at the 5* Millennium Hilton Bangkok.

– Sydney and Mauritius

Mauritius offers much more than just beautiful beaches with mountain climbing and adventure activity opportunities galore in the island’s lush interior. Combine this dream destination with a cosmopolitan city break in Sydney for an Australian adventure with a difference. key2holidays offers 14-night holidays from £1,710.00 per person including seven nights at the 4+* The Sebel Pier One and seven nights at the 4* La Palmeraie.

key2holidays specialises in crafting personalised tailor-made travel itineraries designed by staff with first-hand experience of every destination featured and offers a portfolio of stylish properties and exhilarating experiences – all at great value. The well-travelled, globetrotting team of specialist consultants use their expertise to plan the ideal getaway for clients whether arranging an exotic escape, multi-centre trip combining continents or a chic city break.