For the second consecutive year, Emirates has reported a significant rise in honeymoon bookings from Ireland, which are 22% up on the same period last year (based on passenger bookings with Emirates’ leading tour operators in Ireland between January and November 2017).
“According to the CSO, there were 22,626 marriages in Ireland in 2016, an increase of less than 3% on the previous year,” said Enda Corneille, Country Manager for Emirates in Ireland. “However, we are experiencing year-on-year double-digit growth in our honeymoon business, with all of our passengers heading east.
“There could be any number of reasons for the hike in honeymoons to eastern destinations, but the likely explanation is Ireland’s recovering economy together with rebounding consumer confidence and the attraction of destinations such as Cambodia.”
Cambodia – Surprise Hit of 2017
When it comes to the most popular destinations, Emirates has seen huge interest in Cambodia since launching this new route in July. “While the more traditional places such as the Maldives and Mauritius are still really popular, Cambodia has proven to be the surprise hit of 2017,” added Enda. “Emirates flies direct from Dublin to Dubai twice daily and, from there, we connect honeymooners to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, where they can explore temples, visit historic landmarks, wander through bustling villages or simply relax and enjoy the country’s many tranquil beaches.”
Two-Stop Trip is the Trend
Last year Emirates noticed a growing trend for the two-stop honeymoon, which traditionally involves a stop-over in sunny Dubai along with a visit to any number of destinations in South Africa or the Indian Ocean. Enda Corneille said that while Dubai is still hugely popular for both holidaymakers and honeymooners, this year newlyweds were looking for more unusual combinations such as a week in Hanoi in Vietnam followed by a visit to Cambodia.
“Other interesting pairings include the mountainous island of Phuket, which boasts some of Thailand’s most popular beaches and Ho Chi Minh, the historic capital of South Vietnam,” said Enda.
For those who want to take in as much of Vietnam as possible, they can also fly into Hanoi in the north of the country and depart from Ho Chi Min (Saigon) in the south, which is a great way to experience the different nuances of this culturally-rich country.
“People are really taking advantage of the range of destinations they can visit and the relative ease with which they can reach them from Dublin via Dubai. For the holiday of a lifetime, they literally want to go the extra mile.”
Beautiful Bali in Top Seven
Bali retains its place as one of Emirates’ leading honeymoon destinations that this year also includes The Maldives, Mauritius, Cambodia, Thailand (Phuket), Vietnam and Dubai. “Bali is a much-loved spot for honeymooners because it combines luxury, 5-star accommodation with outstanding value for money and that’s a huge draw for anyone on a budget,” added Enda.
Emirates connects passengers from Ireland to more than 150 traditional honeymoon destinations, exotic locations and hidden treasures across Asia, India, Australasia and Africa. Most honeymoons are booked more than six months out, so there is great value to be had including return flights to Dubai from €479, Phuket from €691, Bali from €748 and Ho Chi Minh from €749 (Economy Class including taxes).
Some 13% of Emirates’ honeymoon customers from Ireland opt to travel in Business Class to enjoy extra onboard comforts and service including gourmet cuisine, complimentary champagne and a selection of fine wines, lie-flat seats, an airport chauffeur collection service and a generous baggage allowance of 40kg.