Most popular long-haul destinations
With the return of long-distance travel, travel agencies are also in demand again
After almost three years of the pandemic, the desire to travel is great. This shows the increased demand for long-haul destinations this winter. Destinations that are easy to travel to and metropolitan trips are particularly popular.
After three years of the pandemic, long-distance travel is on the up again this winter. Classic holiday resorts like Thailand are very popular.
Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest airline, has been flying three times a week from Zurich Airport to Addis Ababa since October 31. From the Ethiopian capital, passengers have connections to destinations on the entire African continent.
With the winter flight schedule that has been in effect since Sunday, there is also an expansion of connections to the Asian continent. Cathay Pacific’s A350 will fly twice weekly to Hong Kong from December. Swiss is also reintroducing this route from Zurich into its flight schedule with five flights a week. It is also increasing long-haul frequencies to Delhi, Mumbai and Singapore.
Long-distance travel is coming back
And then there is the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. The travel bug is back. After almost three years marked by the pandemic, the long-distance travel industry is picking up speed again this winter. The three largest Swiss travel providers Tui, Kuoni and Hotelplan confirm this unanimously. “Our customers are very keen to travel, they want to go on vacation abroad again,” says Tanja Poell, spokeswoman for Hotelplan.
The dry spell seems finally to be over. Kuoni expects long-distance travel this winter to be 80 percent of the pre-pandemic level.
City trips and package tours are trendy
Classic holiday destinations such as Mauritius, but also Thailand and Australia are particularly popular. The Caribbean and Central America are popular destinations again. The Dominican Republic and Costa Rica are currently being booked the most.
“Some destinations even surpass the pre-crisis level. The Maldives, for example, are more popular than ever with travelers from Switzerland, »says Tui spokeswoman Sonja Ptassek. Space could get tight here during peak travel times, such as Christmas and New Year.
According to tour operators, metropolises such as New York for Christmas shopping and Bangkok are also in demand. Probably also because they are well connected, relatively safe and easy to travel around, says travel expert Frieder Voll (40) from the University of Applied Sciences in Graubünden. Individual trips, where business is recovering more slowly, are also being planned more and more, says Voll.
New opportunity for travel agencies
What tour operators and tourism experts notice: Travel agencies are experiencing a comeback with the demand for long-distance travel. “Customers want more security when traveling after the pandemic. Travel agencies with their expertise are currently the right contact here,” says Jürg Stettler (57) from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
Hotelplan also speaks of a need for security on the part of customers. The individual travel provider Globetrotter experiences this in particular. Spokeswoman Sandra Studer: “The trend is towards classic bookings in travel agencies. The reason is the security aspect.»