Holidaymakers head out of Europe

Holidaymakers are looking out of Europe this summer, with Turkey, Tunisia and even short-stay jaunts across the Atlantic proving more popular.

Turkey has overtaken Greece as the second most popular destination for Thomas Cook holidaymakers as more Britons choose breaks outside the European Union.

The tour operator said 48% of its package holiday bookings for this summer were to non-EU destinations — a 10 percentage point rise on the same period a year ago — as prolonged Brexit uncertainty keeps the focus on the strength of the euro against the pound.

Bookings to Tunisia are also double what they were last year, with the North African country back on the map for UK holidaymakers after the terrorist attacks in 2015.

All-inclusive holidays

Spain remains the top destination for summer 2019, with the list of the five leading tourist spots in Thomas Cook’s 2019 UK Holiday Report also including the United States and Cyprus.

As well as being outside the EU, Turkey’s popularity has been driven by its reputation as a value for money location and home to sandy beaches, salt lakes and ancient ruins.

The peace of mind offered by all-inclusive holidays also remains important to Britons in the current economic climate, with 66% of package trips locking in costs on food and drink.

Bite-sized breaks

The report identifies a surge in holidaymakers choosing “bite-sized” breaks of less than a week to long-haul destinations such as the United States, Mexico and South Africa.

Savvy travellers are cutting costs on these long-haul short breaks by flying without hold luggage or finding cheaper flight-only deals. The report said that the number of travellers taking a three-night trip to Las Vegas was up 33%, with a 171% jump in popularity for five-nights in Mexico.

New fuel efficient planes such as the Airbus 380 and 787 Dreamliner are helping to push the travel boundaries, leading to a 350% surge in long-haul passengers over ten years.