Maldives grabs top spot for long-haul destinations in 2009

Thursday, 5 March 2009 08:11

This year more people are looking further abroad when thinking about their travel plans according to a new report which says that long-haul holiday’s are putting the traditional package deal in the shade.

Kuoni's 2009 Long-haul report has confirmed that British travellers planning breaks in 2009 want much more from their holidays than the customary fortnight in the sun.

Fuelled by the weak pound, many Brits are looking beyond traditional short haul hot spots - spreading their wings to experience the rich cultures of countries in the Far East, Middle East, Africa and Indian Ocean.

But preference for these exotic destinations isn't motivated exclusively by economics though.

According to Kuoni, 41 per cent of people said their primary motivation for taking a holiday is to 'soothe their souls' via pursuits like reading, painting and listening to music whilst on a break.

Over a quarter want to stimulate their minds with cultural events, or by learning new languages and skills. Just under a third aim to nurture their bodies, citing Yoga, detox, hiking and sports among favoured activities on holiday.

As such, this year's top long-haul destinations make for an exotic mix.

The Maldives tops the list; a marine paradise that offers some of the best spa treatments in the world.

The temples, idyllic beaches, shopping and nightlife of Thailand secure its second place, with the vast and varied USA coming third.

Easy access from the UK to Egypt and Dubai ensure popularity with the Explorism set.

Kenya has recovered brilliantly from political upheaval to draw in the safari crowd.

Caribbean havens like St. Lucia and Barbados also feature in the Top 20, as does New Zealand.

The full top 20 were:

Malives, Thailand, USA, Egyp, tSri Lanka, Dubai, Singapore, China & Hong Kong, Malaysia, Australia, Kenya, India, Barbados, Mauritius, South, Africa, Indonesia, New Zealand, St.Lucia, Antigua, Tanzania.

dailymail.co.uk

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