Phi Phi Island, Thailand Phi Phi Island, Thailand

Asia trends: islands, villas

Island destinations, short lead in times and a move towards more private, stand alone accommodation are all characterising bookings out of New Zealand to Asia now, says Rahul Sharma, managing director of Exotic Holidays.

‘Thailand has been the biggest gainer because it opened up months ago and has been selling for the longest duration.

‘Kiwis have realised they can go back and we have seen good interest and bookings to places like Phuket and Ko Samui. People are seeking a combination of beaches and culture.’

Sharma says the Maldives has been extremely popular too, with both families and couples, while Bali is now gaining some traction and Vietnam’s opening has quickly generated enquiries.

‘We’re seeing three or four enquiries a day about Vietnam, in the past it was always our best seller.’

Sharma says many clients are looking at villas and bungalows as an alternative to hotel accommodation.

‘They are seeking the extra space these places provide and a lot of people want a private plunge pool as well.’

Exotic Holidays is also reporting resurgence in travel to Turkey and Greece through Fez Travel.

‘The gate has opened,’ Sharma adds.

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