Australian travellers have a habit of leaving their plans to last minute and it’s causing them to lose out to their American mates when it comes to booking small-group, luxury tours.

Speaking at a media lunch in Sydney last night, Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) Australia’s Managing Director Sujata Raman explained that unlike Aussies, Americans tend to book their trips “months in advance”.

She said these early birds are filling tour spots, especially in Africa and in boutique lodges which are popular among the A&K market.

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“I wish I could train Australian travellers to book earlier because they’re often missing out to their American counterparts.”

Sujata Raman, A&K Managing Director

Raman added that despite last year’s political disruptions (two elections and Brexit) the tour operator has experienced strong growth and is even currently sitting 50 percent higher compared to the same time in 2016.

Among the top destinations for the tour operator in 2017 include all countries across Africa and Japan as well as Morocco and India, which are seeing “great growth”.

Raman said Egypt is “making a comeback” this year with bookings for the destination on the rise after a number of years, while Central Asia including Iran is also seeing noticeable growth.

Iran Abercrombie Kent

Over in Europe, Iceland is one of the more popular spots for A&K this year despite what Raman described as being “a short season and a somewhat scary pricepoint”.

Looking ahead, the Managing Director said in 2018 the tour operator is looking at introducing Guatemala to its portfolio with tours covering the Mayan ruins and rain-forests as well as renewed focus on West Africa with a level of touring that will be a “first for the market”.

Travellers can also look forward to a more options in Eurasia with plans to introduce tours in Georgia and Armenia.

How far in advance do you book your trips?