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Brits choosing non-EU holidays for summer

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Brexit uncertainty has led to more British holidaymakers booking trips outside the EU this summer, according to Thomas Cook.

Almost half (48%) of package holiday bookings for this summer are to non-Euro destinations, up 10 percentage points on the same time last year, the tour operator said.

Turkey is the biggest beneficiary of this shift, leapfrogging Greece to become this summer’s second most popular package holiday destination.

Turkey also accounts for a quarter of all Thomas Cook Airlines flight-only bookings so far.

Tunisia is also faring well. In what will be its second summer back on the map for British holidaymakers, package bookings to Tunisia are double what they were compared to last year and flight-only bookings with Thomas Cook Airlines are up four-fold.

Jetting abroad

While the report said Brexit uncertainty has led many to delay their decision on when and where they book for their summer holidays, it also shows that an overseas summer holiday remains as important as ever to Brits.

More than half of those surveyed say they are more likely to holiday abroad than last year and over a quarter claim that a foreign holiday is higher on their spending priorities than in 2018 – only 8% said it was lower.

Will Waggott, chief of tour operating for Thomas Cook, said: “Britain may be living through unique times from a political perspective, however our desire to holiday abroad is clear.

“Thomas Cook’s 2019 Holiday Report reveals that the political turmoil is having an impact in other ways, revealing itself in a clear shift to non-EU countries and a growth in all-inclusive.

“Turkey has already overtaken Greece to claim the number two spot of most desirable summer destinations and Tunisia is working its way back up the popularity stakes as it re-establishes itself as a hotspot for British tourists.”

The top five destinations for summer 2019:

  1. Spain (mainland Spain, the Balearics and the Canary Islands)
  2. Turkey
  3. Greece
  4. USA
  5. Cyprus

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