Australian and New Zealand travel experts AAT Kings is “having a good year” and “2018 forward numbers are looking very strong,” the company’s managing director Hans Belle told travelBulletin.
The Northern Territory including Uluru is booming for the operator, with the AAT Kings boss highlighting the uniqueness of the Field of Light installation as a real success story and a trigger for turning travel aspirations into bookings for both domestic and international visitors.
AAT Kings Kimberley and West Coast tours have also experienced very strong growth and Tasmania is still performing very strongly, while the UK and North American markets have displayed “real material growth,” Belle said.
“Some of the reasons we’re performing so well out of those markets is — like the rest of TTC brands — we’re very committed to supporting and working with the trade.”
“The bulk of our bookings come through the trade and so our programs are totally designed to drive guests into our travel partners,” he explained.
AAT Kings is expanding its product offering in 2018 with the introduction of a NSW South Coast Highlights day tour, venturing from Sydney down the Grand Pacific Drive and stopping at Nan Tien Temple in Berkeley — the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere — along with the Kiama Blowhole and Fitzroy Falls.
AAT Kings is also working through a new itinerary in the Victorian Highlands for its Inspiring Journeys portfolio which offers small, luxury and boutique tours for groups of up to 20 travellers.
Belle said the company had been responding to a real demand for a modular approach to travel by combining shorter Inspiring Journeys itineraries, with a tendency noted for international travellers compressing the duration of their visit.
Belle said the shorter visits could be partly driven by a lack of hotel capacity due to a boost in traveller numbers, resulting in a “dampening effect on whether people can stay as long as they originally intended”.