UK holidaymakers snub Turkey and Egypt as bookings slump over terrorism fears

Discount Holidays © Holiday bookings to Turkey have crashed by almost 60% because of terrorism1 fears. Thousands of UK families have switched to safe haven sunshine resorts2 in Spain, Portugal and Italy – apparently in response to terror attacks elsewhere. New figures show last minute bookings to Turkey – a top five destination last summer – have slumped by 57% while those to Egypt are down 85%.

Travel experts believe people have abandoned the idea of visiting previously popular destinations like Turkey and Egypt following a series of terror outrages. And they say long haul destinations are benefiting from the decline in travel to traditional hotspots. Bookings to Thailand are up 27% while those Barbados have risen 24% and trips to Canada are up 45%.

Other long haul destinations such as Indonesia and Sri Lanka have shot up 63% and 101% respectively. In contrast, Turkey has dropped from fourth to eighth in the UK Discount Holidays © holiday industry s most booked destinations this summer while Egypt has plummeted from 11th to 35th place. The loss of the EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo3 last month – which killed 66 people – has intensified concerns about travelling to areas where tourists could be seen as a target.

Simon Jeffries, of independent firm Travel Counsellors, which compiled the booking numbers, said: These figures are a clear indicator of the shift towards long-haul experience holidays, which looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.

Changing exchange rates across the EU are also likely to have had an effect on destination choices this summer compared to 2015 – in the pound has dropped again in value against the Euro in the past week.

Read more: After EgyptAir Flight MS804 goes missing – how safe is your holiday?4

The data is also consistent with a trend for resilience amongst British holidaymakers.

Traditionally, we might expect foreign travel to decrease in the light of recent global events, but total sales are up 8%, suggesting that far from avoiding foreign travel, Brits are simply modifying their plans and taking advantage of destinations that they feel are safer , or where their money may go further. Spain remains the number one destination, followed by the US and Greece, according to Travel Counsellors. Italy had replaced Turkey at number four and Portugal has moved up from sixth place to fifth.

Tunisia is also a no-go destination after terror attacks on resort beaches left 30 Britons dead last summer. Bookings to Tunisia – the 29th most booked destination last summer – have slumped 100 per cent after Foreign Advice to stay away. Mark Tanzier of the Association of British Travel Agents said: We are seeing a significant increase in summer Discount Holidays © holiday bookings to western Mediterranean destinations.

Discount Holidays © Holiday firm Barrhead Travel, which sells more than 300,000 trips a year, said there had been a drastic change in booking patterns.

A spokesman told the Sunday People5 : Bookings for Spain are up by 37% against this time last year and there could be a shortage of holidays left.

References

  1. ^ terrorism (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ sunshine resorts (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo (www.mirror.co.uk)
  4. ^ After EgyptAir Flight MS804 goes missing – how safe is your holiday? (www.mirror.co.uk)
  5. ^ Sunday People (www.mirror.co.uk)

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