Although Brexit may have disappeared from our headlines, negotiations are still taking place in parliament and the uncertainty remains. The impact this is having on the booking trends of UK holidaymakers has been confirmed by travel giant, Thomas Cook. The well-known agent released a report earlier this week that stated bookings to Turkey have significantly increased as UK holidaymakers boycott the EU.
Uncertainty around the EHIC, fluctuating exchange rates and the threat of delays at border control are all thought to have contributed to the decision for UK holidaymakers to book Turkey for their summer break as opposed to Spain, Italy or France. Thomas Cook reported almost half of summer holiday bookings are for outside the eurozone due to the unstable value of the pound.
Compared to 2018, bookings to Turkey have increased by 27 per cent.
TUI have also noticed a rise in holiday bookings to Turkey and plan to increase their gateways in Antalya and Dalaman airports ready for summer 2020 by offering a further 45,000 seats to UK holidaymakers.
The coastline of Antalya is often referred to as the Turkish Riviera with picturesque scenery and guaranteed sunshine. Just a short flight from most UK airports, and the Turkish Lira ranking well against the pound, it’s no wonder popularity for the eastern European country is rising.
Our recent research also swung in Turkey’s favour as the country ranked second in the most popular non-EU countries for UK Holidaymakers in 2018. USA came in first and Turkey was followed by Thailand, Singapore and Tashkent.
Those who have already booked, or are thinking of booking a holiday outside of the EU, should ensure they do their research beforehand. Many countries, including Turkey, will require a visa on-entry and it is now no longer possible to purchase these at the airport on arrival in most destinations. Refusal of entry and having to travel home again for not having the correct documents will not be covered by your travel insurance – so it is best to check.
The UK is no closer to confirming a deal with the EU since the agreement was made to extend Article 50 until October 31st 2019. As negotiations continue tensions are expected to rise and we can predict seeing a continuing rise of holiday bookings outside of the EU family favourites.