Turkey is outperforming Spain in sales for the first time, according to The Co-operative Travel Group.
Director of retail travel Trevor Davis said since the start of the lates market, package sales to Turkey for summer 2008 have increased by 30%, while sales for Spain’s top-performing destination Majorca have dropped 13%.
Dalaman is now the top-selling resort for the group. Davis added: “Bookings from people looking for cheap summer sun have traditionally ensured Spain was the leading holiday destination.”
However, he said the unfavourable euro-pound exchange rate is putting people off and there is a shortage of availability for late deals.
Tour operators agreed there has been a shift in sales of holidays outside the eurozone.
Cosmos head of product and development Ian Hailes said Turkey has seen a 25% increase in its 2008 summer package sales, while bookings for Spain have dropped 6%.
However, the operator has still booked nearly four times as many packages to Spain this year as it did last year.
Hailes said: “Operators are struggling to sell Spanish packages because component sales are increasing for the western Mediterranean.”
Association of Independent Tour Operators chairman Derek Moore agreed, adding: “One has to ask whether the multitude of low-cost carriers to Spain has led to the loss of package operator support.”
Spanish Tourist Office director Ignacio Vasallo dismissed the reports. He said: “The big picture is Spain is going to have 15.5 million UK visitors this year.”
The group’s Turkey sales for summer are 30% up on last year
Co-operative Travel’s top destinations: summer 2008 lates market
- Turkey – Dalaman
- Turkey – Bodrum
- Costa Blanca
- Sharm el-Sheikh