British tourists flock to Turkish resort towns

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

While interest in Turkey has increased from all around world this year, a surge in the British pound against the Turkish lira has considerably boosted the demand for Turkish tourism especially from the U.K. One of the world's largest U.K.-based travel agencies, Thomas Cook, has reported that holiday resort province Antalya outpaced the Spanish island of Palma de Mallorca and led the way in their package tours.

Having reached a record number of tourists in the first half of the year, Turkey expects 40 million tourists and $30 billion in tourism revenue by the end of the year.

TUI and Thomas Cook, the largest tour companies in Europe, announced that the number of passengers traveling to Turkey was on the rise, while Ryanair said Turkey flights were in high demand through Bratislava and Dublin.

According to June statistics, 4.5 million foreign tourists visited Turkey, with Russians leading the way in the number of foreign tourists with 989,983 visitors, while some 306,647 British tourists also chose Turkey for vacation in June. In the first half of the year, a total of 858,055 British citizens visited Turkey, according to the data of the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

The Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB) announced that the most notable increase in June was recorded in the number of British tourists at an increase of 45.5 percent. Within the last 12 months, the British pound appreciated 35 percent against the lira.

Yesterday, the pound/lira exchange rate traded at above 6.80, and it tested 6.83 during the day.

Thomas Cook announced that reservations for Turkey rose by 63 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year, according to the BBC.

Thomas Cook said holidaymakers left their reservations to the last minute because of the weather conditions maintaining above seasonal norms, and prices remained low for this reason. "There cannot be a better time for a vacation in Turkey," company official Anth Mooney said.

In 2015, 2.5 million tourists came to Turkey from Britain, while the figure stood at 1.7 million in 2016 and 1.6 million last year.

Britain's Ambassador to Ankara, Dominick Chilcott, estimated that the number of British tourists to Turkey was expected to be around 3 million this year.

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