New late booking destinations reflect swing in travel corridors

Rhodes has overtaken Turkey to become the most popular choice for a late October holiday, according to the latest search data.

The removal of Turkey from the government’s travel corridors list on October 1, resulting in returning having to quarantine for 14 days, led to a surge in interest in Greek islands, Madeira and Cyprus, price comparison site TravelSupermarket reported.

The islands of Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Santorini and Zante were added to the safe travel list a week later.

Package holiday searches for late October departures have since soared to Zante, Santorini, Kos and Rhodes.

But searches for resorts in the Antalya region of Turkey fell by almost half and those to Dalaman by 63%.

The findings align with data from comparison site showing sustained interest in last-minute breaks to non-quarantine destinations.

TravelSupermarket travel commentator Emma Coulthurst said government quarantine announcements have accounted for major swings in interest to destinations left on the exempt list.

“Turkey looked like it would be Brits’ most popular destination for the end of season.

“But the government’s decision on October 1 to put it on the 14 day quarantine list put paid to that.

“People are reading up on which destinations don’t have UK quarantine restrictions and opting to travel to them instead of their usual favourites which the government is now advising against travelling to.

“Brits would typically head to destinations in Spain and Portugal at this time.

“Still wanting sun, they are instead opting for destinations such as Zante or Kos which they wouldn’t necessarily have ordinarily considered.

“So, it isn’t a terrible picture for all outbound travel. Those destinations which have managed to stay off the government’s quarantine list – Kos, Rhodes, Corfu etc – or have recently been taken off – Santorini and Zante – are benefiting from business, which they might not have had otherwise.

“Madeira and Cyprus, Barbados and Sicily are also benefiting, due to government advice changes, from increased interest, which they wouldn’t normally see at this time of year.”

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