Turkey holiday bookings boom as British tourists rush to catch ‘late summer sun’

Grant Shapps discusses introduction of 'simpler' travel system

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Holiday providers have reported a boom in bookings for trips to Turkey as UK citizens rush to secure a break in the sun. Current restrictions will be lifted in time for families to enjoy October half term holidays.

Turkey was placed on the UK Government’s travel red list in May, forcing arrivals to quarantine in expensive Government hotels.

In the latest travel update on Friday, the country was finally removed from the red list as its cases dropped.

Travellers who are unvaccinated will still have to self-isolate for ten days after visiting Turkey under the new rules.

Unvaccinated children and teenagers will not have to self-isolate and will be treated under the same rules as double-jabbed adults.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2Holidays, said the company had seen demand surge under the new rules.

He said: “There has been an immediate and massive surge in bookings for flights and package holidays on the back of this welcome news for holidaymakers in England.

“Thanks to the certainty that yesterday’s announcement has given customers, destinations right across the board are selling well, whether it’s for late summer sun, winter or next summer.

“As you might expect, half term dates have also seen a surge in bookings for families.”

Jet2 has said it will restart flights to the popular Turkish destinations of Antalya and Dalaman from September 23.

Both hotspots offer British tourists stunning beaches and plenty of activities, including watersports, for families.

Turkey is a particularly popular destination for Britons during autumn as winter sun is almost guaranteed.

Estelle Giraudeau, Managing Director, UK & Northern Europe at Club Med, told Express.co.uk,Turkey was the “perfect option for some late summer sun”.

Skyscanner has reported a 133 percent increase in website traffic after the travel rules were relaxed.

It has said searches for holidays in Turkey saw a “huge increase” as the good news arrived for British tourists.

The Turkish Travel Agencies Association said: “We were hoping that this decision would have been made much earlier.

“A large number of our guests from the U.K., who miss Turkey and want to have a vacation in our country, were also waiting for this decision.”

The Association said it expects to see at least 200,000 British tourists arrive in Turkey in the next three months.

Before the pandemic, Turkey regularly welcomed over two million British tourists every year and was one of the UK’s top holiday destinations.

Only 85,000 British tourists visited Turkey between January and July in 2021 as people were put off by the harsh quarantine rules.

From October 4, British double-vaccinated travellers to Turkey will not need to take a pre-departure Covid test.

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