Ethiopia tipped for tourism surge

by Zelalem

Trips to see the tribal communities of the Omo Valley are another, though some
believe they are exploitative. In 2013, Exodus, an operator specialising in
activity and adventure travel, announced
it would no longer offer such tours

Parts of the Ethiopia are off-limits, however. The Foreign Office advises
against all travel to within 10km of the borders with Sudan, South Sudan,
Kenya and Eritrea, and to larger parts of the country’s north-eastern and
south-eastern regions.

Kuoni’s trips feature Lalibela, the low-key capital Addis Ababa, the towns of
Gondar and Bahir Dar, the Bale Mountains National Park and the Simien
Mountains National Park.

The Simien Mountains National Park (Photo: AP)

Other emerging destinations listed by Kuoni included the Philippines,
following the recent launch of direct flights from London to Manila, La
, in the Indian Ocean, and Sri
‘s east coast.

The tour operator’s annual report also highlighted those countries which have
grown in popularity over the last year – and those which have fallen from

Bookings for Brazil
have risen 58 per cent, year-on-year, with the World Cup said to be behind
the trend. A further rise is expected as Rio de Janeiro prepares to host the
2016 Olympic Games.

Malaysia, on the other hand, is proving less popular, with the two Malaysia
Airlines disasters believed to be behind the fall in booking.

George Clooney’s marriage to Amal Alamuddin in Venice
appears to have inspired holidaymakers – inquiries for weddings and
honeymoons in Italy
have increased 20 per cent since the ceremony in September.

Overall, the Maldives is Kuoni’s most popular destination for 2015, based on
sales until the end of January. It is the 10th year running the islands have
topped the list.

The UAE has risen to third, behind Thailand, while Cuba has jumped to seventh,
its highest ever ranking, with travellers apparently keen to see the country
before improved relations with the US affect its undeveloped charm.

Kuoni’s top 20 destinations for 2015

1. Maldives (2014 position: 1)
2. Thailand (2)
3. UAE (3)
4. Sri Lanka (4)
5. USA (6)
6. Mauritius (5)
7. Cuba (10)
8. Antigua (12)
9. Singapore (13)
10. Barbados (8)
11. St Lucia (11)
12. Mexico (16)
13. Vietnam (14)
14. Italy (-)
15. Indonesia (15)
16. Malaysia (9)
17. Australia (24)
18. India (18)
19. Hong Kong (25)
20. Switzerland (17)

Dubai and Abu Dhabi have grown in popularity (Photo: AP)

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