The operator has launched new Italy and Mediterranean brochures off the back of year-on-year short-haul growth, with some early bird offers available to the trade.
Its new “refined collection” features more than 150 properties, with additions in Greece, Turkey, Malta and Cyprus, as well as Croatia, Spain and Portugal.
Kuoni says its line-up represents “one of the most comprehensive collections of premium resorts throughout the Mediterranean”.
Angelo D’Avino, Kuoni’s product and purchasing manager for the Mediterranean, told TTG the operator was prepared to go to meticulous lengths to guarantee quality.
“99% of hotels I see myself,” said D’Avino. “We’re very pernickety. Our properties, particularly in Italy, always have a story – they have history. People want to stay in these remarkable locations.”
D’Avino said “the clear resurgence” of Greece had informed some of the operator’s choices for its new brochures, which feature departures through to March 2020.
While Italy remains Kuoni’s European heartland, with around 110 handpicked hotels, it has added 14 new hotels in Greece, growing its portfolio there to 56 properties. The Greece programme now features island-hopping in the Sporades, as well as additions in Athens and Thessaloniki.
D’Avino said after a tough period in the country’s history, he had been impressed with Greece’s investment in its hotel sector. “It’s really stepped up to the mark,” he said.
Turkey has been another focus for Kuoni with the addition of Cappadocia and the chance to “experience life in the heart of Turkey”. Stays can be paired with Istanbul or a beach retreat.
“We’ve done a lot of work on the eastern Med,” said D’Avino. “It alternates. Greece and Turkey are coming back. We’ve made additions in Ibiza and Tenerife, where there has been a lot of investment as they try to change their image.”
D’Avino added he wanted recognition of Kuoni’s short-haul offering to match that of its more established long-haul operation. “It’s clearly something we’ve been lacking.
We’re seeing year-on-year short-haul growth. We will continue to accelerate but only where we can find the best fit – it’s quality over quantity.”
Sample prices, based on two sharing with return flights and resort transfers, include five nights B&B twin deluxe at the Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort – the first Anantara hotel in Europe – from £1,099pp, available on selected departures in June 2019 when booked before October 31, saving £309 per couple.
Elsewhere, seven nights’ B&B at the Skopelos Village Hotel in a double garden view room leads in at £1,079pp, saving £771 per couple, while seven nights’ B&B in a deluxe upper floor room at Elivi Skiathosstarts from £1,349pp, saving £558 per couple.