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Searches for flights to Turkey jump by 115% as more countries added to quarantine list

Istanbul, Dalaman and Antalya now in Skyscanner’s top 10 most-searched destinations 

Qin Xie
Thursday 17 September 2020 12:39 BST
Interest in holidays to Turkey has surged in recent weeks
Interest in holidays to Turkey has surged in recent weeks (Getty Images)

Interest in holidays to Turkey has seen a massive spike in September as more countries are struck off the Department for Transport’s travel corridors list.

Spain was the first to go at the end of July. Since then, more countries have been added to the quarantine list week by week, including holiday hotspots such as France, Portugal and Croatia.

Turkey, which is also on the Foreign Office’s safe list, is one of a handful of countries left where travellers don’t need to self-isolate for 14 days after returning to the UK.

The result has been a surge in interest in the country at an atypical time of the year, according to comparison sites.

Skyscanner said that Istanbul, Dalaman and Antalya are now in its top 10 most-searched destinations for the first time for the month of September.

In fact, searches for those destinations have gone up by 115 per cent between the last two weeks of August (12 to 31) and the first two weeks of September (1 to 14).

Holiday comparison site TravelSupermarket has seen similar spikes in interest for package holidays to Turkey.

For the week of 8 to 15 September, 30 per cent of all package holiday comparison searches for departure between 11 September and 31 October were for Turkey. 

This time last year the number was just eight per cent, and it’s now generating more searches than Greece (15 per cent) and Italy (10 per cent) combined.

Jon Thorne, consumer traveller expert at Skyscanner, said: “As we move into the autumn, and the summer rush for a beach break away changes into thoughts about October and school holiday breaks, we are seeing people looking for two distinct types of break.

“October and half term in particular are usually times where British travellers and families look for some late autumn sun in Spain and Portugal but with both countries currently on the restricted travel lists, we’ve seen Brits adapt their travel plans and destination preferences as Turkey and Sweden rise in the bookings ranks.”

He added: “Historically, Swedish destinations haven’t been in the top searches or bookings lists on Skyscanner but with its long-standing travel reputation as a safe, clean and English-speaking friendly destination, and now as one of the European countries with the lowest infection rates, we expect to see the rise in popularity continue into the next months.”

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