Holidaymakers shun Turkey in favour of its more reliable neighbours

When it comes to attracting British holidaymakers, Greece has triumphed in the tourism battle over neighbouring Turkey. In the past two years, the Greek share of the UK package holiday market has risen by almost 50 per cent, while Turkey has seen visitor numbers fall by a third.

When it comes to attracting British holidaymakers, Greece has triumphed in the tourism battle over neighbouring Turkey. In the past two years, the Greek share of the UK package holiday market has risen by almost 50 per cent, while Turkey has seen visitor numbers fall by a third.

The survey was released on the eve of the annual Association of Britain Travel Agents (Abta) convention, which begins this morning on the Greek island of Kos, just three miles from the Turkish mainland. Almost 1,000 British travellers were quizzed by Mori at the end of the summer season, and the results compared with a similar survey in 1998.

Spain remains by far the favourite destination for package holidays, with 43 per cent travelling there this summer - a drop of three per cent. In second place, Greece has risen from 11 per cent to 16 per cent. France is third, with seven per cent, though it remains overall the British traveller's favourite; most UK visitors make their own arrangements to cross the Channel rather than buying package holidays.

Turkey has seen its visitor figures collapse, down from nine to six per cent. In the past two years it has suffered from a catastrophic earthquake and increased threats from the Kurdish separatist group PKK towards foreign holidaymakers. Turkey has been overtaken by Cyprus, which has boomed as a destination for young travellers in search of dance music; to seal its claim to be cool, Radio One broadcast from the resort of Agia Napa in the summer. Around one million British people will visit the Republic of Cyprus this year, with fewer than 50,000 venturing into Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus.

The convention is taking place amid concern from travel agents that they will lose business to the Web. The survey shows 3 per cent of people booked a package holiday on the internet. But Keith Betton of Abta said: "More people will use the internet, but not so many that it would be catastrophic for agents."

The survey also suggested British travellers were becoming more concerned about adverse effects of tourism on the environment. Two-thirds of those questioned said they would be prepared to pay between £10 and £25 extra to help protect the environment. But Neil Taylor of Regent Holidays said: "We're all vaguely green and in favour of protecting the environment, but it's difficult to see how such a charge would work in practice." Meanwhile, the Greek national airline has slashed fares in business class to attract British travellers to Australia. Olympic Airways, which was founded by Aristotle Onassis but has been chronically unprofitable for decades, has cut the business-class fare to Sydney or Melbourne to £1,528 for a return flight, one-third of the corresponding fare on British Airways.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    ICE ICT: Lead Business Consultant

    £39,000: ICE ICT: Specific and detailed knowledge and experience of travel sys...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

    £25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

    Guru Careers: Plumber / Maintenance Operator

    £25K + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Plumber / Mainten...

    Day In a Page

    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
    Paris Fashion Week

    Paris Fashion Week

    Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
    A year of the caliphate:

    Isis, a year of the caliphate

    Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
    Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

    Marks and Spencer

    Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
    'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

    'We haven't invaded France'

    Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
    Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

    Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

    The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
    7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

    Remembering 7/7 ten years on

    Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
    Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

    They’re here to help

    We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
    What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

    What exactly does 'one' mean?

    Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue
    E L James's book Grey is a reminder of how the phenomenon of the best-seller works

    Grey is a reminder of how the phenomenon of the best-seller works

    It's hard to understand why so many are buying it – but then best-selling was ever an inexact science, says DJ Taylor
    Behind the scenes of the world's most experimental science labs

    World's most experimental science labs

    The photographer Daniel Stier has spent four years gaining access to some of the world's most curious scientific experiments
    It's the stroke of champions - so why is the single-handed backhand on the way out?

    Single-handed backhand: on the way out?

    If today's young guns wish to elevate themselves to the heights of Sampras, Graf and Federer, it's time to fire up the most thrilling shot in tennis
    HMS Saracen: Meeting the last survivor of a submarine found 72 years after it was scuttled

    HMS Saracen

    Meeting the last survivor of a submarine found 72 years after it was scuttled
    7/7 bombings 10 years on: Martine Wright lost both legs in the attack – she explains how her experience since shows 'anything is possible'

    7/7 bombings 10 years on

    Martine Wright lost both legs in the attack – she explains how her experience since shows 'anything is possible'