Turkey is back on the menu as safety concerns decrease

By Jon Young

It seems Britons are becoming braver when it comes to travelling; more than twice as many are considering a holiday to Turkey this year as in 2017, according to our latest Holiday Trends research.

The research shows that 5% of Britons are seriously considering a holiday to Turkey in 2018, compared with just 2% last year. Public perception of the country certainly seems to have improved; Tui and Thomas Cook have both reported a growth in bookings to ‘the gateway to Asia’ recently. It seems that Millennials and Londoners are leading the charge, with 6% and 10% planning trips there in 2018 respectively. Package holidays to Turkey have also increased in appeal; 8% of Britons are considering booking one this year.

Turkey - the site of Troy, birthplace of Santa Claus, and only country to span two continents - has certainly benefitted from better PR in the last twelve months. The country’s political instability has quietened, and numerous TV shows (such as ‘Turkey with Simon Reeve’ and ‘Nigel Slater’s Middle East’) have been shining a light on its vibrant culture. This may have softened British perceptions of the destination; indeed, our research shows that 20% of Britons now regard Istanbul as ‘safe’, compared to just 13% this time last year.

But, charismatic as Simon Reeve may be, this softening in perceptions is probably part of a wider trend. Safety is less of a concern for Britons in general this year, with just 36% saying it will be a strong consideration in their holiday planning (compared with 40% in 2017). In fact, ‘safety ratings’ have increased for almost every city destination we measured, with London being the key exception.

Similarly, Turkey’s increasing popularity may also be linked to a general rise in intention to holiday overseas. 76% of Britons are seeking to holiday outside the UK this year - a significant increase from the 67% in 2017. Not all overseas destinations appear to be benefitting, though. A mere 1% of Britons intend to holiday in Tunisia, despite Thomas Cook resuming flights there this week. Still, it may just be too early for such changes to have impacted traveller intentions.

We’re still crunching the data on Holiday Trends 2018, and making fascinating new finds every day.  Want to know what they are? Sign up here, and we’ll let you know when our free summary report is ready.

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