Kuoni plans for future with its first tours launch during lockdown

Kuoni has brought out its first collection of new small-group escorted tours during the coronavirus lockdown.

The tour operator said the launch of tours for 2021 and 2022 aimed to reassure customers it is planning ahead for the future post-lockdown.

The collection features a range of new tours including a 12-night Wildlife of India tour and an early booking saving and lowest price guarantee.

It also offers revamped itineraries in Peru and Vietnam and six new tours in Italy, Portugal, India, South Africa, Myanmar and Vietnam.

The launch comes with a message to clients that it is safe to plan now and travel later and reassurances that all prices and departure dates are guaranteed. There is flexibility if anything changes and it becomes unsafe to travel.

Savings on 2021 departures are equivalent to £250 per person for new bookings, or rebookings following a cancellation, made before June 1.

Head of specialist products Claire Ross said:  “We know that sometimes, booking a holiday a long way in advance comes with nagging worries, now more so than ever, so we’re launching our new range with an early booking offer which is guaranteed to be the best price.

“This means that if you book by June 1, you have the peace of mind that the price you pay is guaranteed to be the best price for your holiday. What’s more, if the price does go down after you’ve booked, we’ll refund the difference.”

The operator’s new Wildlife of India tour visits the country’s lesser visited parks which inspired Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, including Kanha National Park, home to leopards, deer and antelope, and Bandhavgarh National Park, which is home to around 60 tigers.

The tour costs from £2,755 based on an April 2021 departure, including return flights from London Heathrow.

Changes have been made to the Peru Explorer and Highlights of Vietnam tours to allow more time at the most popular sites and avoid visiting at the most popular times.

Ross said: “For example, on the Peru Explorer, we’ve added in an extra night staying at the Village of Augas Calientas, close to the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu. Previously we joined lots of tourists leaving Cusco or the Sacred Valley for a day trip to the ancient citadel with just a few hours to take in the beauty of the place. By including the extra night, it means we travel there at less crowded times and visit the Citadel on two occasions before and after the bulk of the day trippers.

“On the Highlights of Vietnam trip, we’ve added an additional night in Ho Chi Minh following customer feedback. Previously guests would embark on a short visit to the Cu Chi tunnels before departing, but feedback showed customers wanted to spend longer here to reflect on history of the place and to explore more independently, so we added in an extra night so guests could spend a little longer here.”