New Horizons grows independent offering

New Horizons grows independent offering
By admin

New Horizons is shifting its focus to a more independent style of touring, although the Perth-based wholesaler stressed traditional packages will remain its “bread and butter”.

Managing director, Chris Evans, told Travel Today that its cultural and inspirational experiences, such as those available in Africa, are seeing strong interest.

Its Africa program has seen growth of 187% over the last year with the range, which includes Indian Ocean destinations, also benefitting from the demise of Fiesta Holidays at the start of the year, according to Evans.

It will be expanded to include additional East African product this year, he revealed.

The shift comes as Evans confirmed sales of its number one destination, Bali, remain flat as travellers buoyed by the strength of the Australian dollar continue to look further afield.

“It’s the most disappointing of our destinations but I think it will come back,” he said, adding all other destinations were up in terms of sales.

Nonetheless, Evans urged travellers to take advantage of the strength of the Australian dollar, as it begins to show signs of weakening.

He explained the US dollar pricing of New Horizons’ range of lodges in Africa makes them great value as long as the Aussie dollar remains robust.

“If people don’t do it now, there’s a good chance it will be 30% to 40% more expensive down the track,” he warned.

But its traditional packages will continue to be its mainstay, he added.

Meanwhile, the expansion of its cruising program last year has boosted sales of Hong Kong and Singapore product, with Singapore hotel bookings up 52% as a result.

Cruise growth in the region has offset any reduction in stopovers as a result of Qantas rerouting its Kangaroo route via Dubai, while the Middle Eastern destination has seen growth of 40% over the last year. That figure is expected to rise further this year as a result of Qantas’ new focus on the hub.

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