Demand in the last fortnight for late summer sun holidays to Greece and Portugal has fallen while interest in Turkey has surged, according to new search data.
The interest in holidaying in Greece has dropped 17% since a number of Greek islands were added to the Foreign Office and Welsh government’s “essential-only travel” advice list and the Foreign Office quarantine list while Scots were advised against travelling to anywhere in the country.
Portugal has seen the biggest drop in demand for holidays from the UK after being placed back on the UK’s quarantine list two weeks ago, with searches for late summer trips falling by 57%.
Holiday price comparison site TravelSupermarket found that 30% of late summer holiday interest in the last fortnight has been for packages to Turkey.
This is the largest share of overall late summer package holiday search and a 15% rise compared with the previous fortnight.
Interest in holidaying in resorts accessible via Dalaman airport has gone up by 36% and to resorts around Antalya by 32%.
The way in which consumers are booking their holidays has also changed with an increased level of late-booking due to the nature of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The site’s travel commentator Emma Coulthurst said: “In 2019, the average lead time via TravelSupermarket between people looking for and then departing on a holiday was six weeks for any departure date.
“This year, the average has reduced to four weeks. Over the last few weeks, we have seen a marked increase in people searching for holidays which are departing within a week.
“People are looking at average coronavirus daily case numbers, picking a destination and booking and going away very soon afterwards.”
Price comparison searches have also jumped up 55% to Thailand after the country was added to the government’s travel corridor list despite the Asian country barring inbound tourists.
Coulthurst said: “The UK government said last week that Thailand was back on the UK travel corridor list. I worry that this could have given people false hope.
“The reality is that, even if the UK government says that they don’t mind you travelling there and says that there is a travel corridor, it is a prime example of where the country being discussed is not in agreement.
“The Thai government continues to have its borders closed to tourism. So, it is impossible to currently take a holiday there. The UK government needs to be much clearer in its communication on where you can and can’t travel to.”
She added: “There continues to be definite winners and losers in the outbound holiday market.
“No doubt, the adding by UK governments of restrictions to some or all parts of Greece is a reason for the demand decrease for holidays to the country.
“However, some Greek Islands such as Kos, Rhodes and Corfu, which remain exempt from UK travel restrictions, have benefited from the UK travel advice against travel to other parts of Greece.”
The five most-booked destinations in the last week via TravelSupermarket seaches:
- Resorts accessible from Dalaman, Turkey (Marmaris, Oludeniz, Icmeler, Fethiye, Turunc, Dalyan)
- Resorts in and around Antalya, Turkey (Alanya, Belek, Kemer, Side, Beldibi, Lara)
- Resorts in and around Bodrum, Turkey (Bodrum, Bitez, Didim, Kusadasi, Gumbet)
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