1. ITV Report

Holidaymakers choosing non-EU destinations for summer breaks

Holidaymakers are opting for more destinations outside the EU bloc. Credit: PA

UK holidaymakers are choosing home rather than away for their summer holidays this year, as new figures suggest Brits are opting for non-European Union countries.

Thomas Cook reported 48% of its package holiday bookings for this summer are to destinations outside the bloc - up 10% from the previous year.

The tour operator said the weakness of the pound against the euro is the most likely cause for the trend and the uncertainty around Brexit has led holidaymakers to delay their decision on when and where to book.

Turkey has seen the biggest growth in demand, leapfrogging Greece to become this summer’s second most popular package holiday destination after Spain and accounts for a quarter of all Thomas Cook Airlines flight-only bookings.

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Tunisia is another non-European Union destination faring well, with package trip bookings doubled year-on-year.

But a survey of 3,422 of its customers found that taking an overseas summer holiday remains as important as ever, with the majority saying they are more likely to holiday abroad this year than in 2018.

USA was listed as the fourth most popular non-EU destination. Credit: AP

Will Waggott, chief of tour operating for Thomas Cook, said: “Britain may be living through unique times from a political perspective, however our desire to holiday abroad is clear.

“Thomas Cook’s 2019 Holiday Report reveals that the political turmoil is having an impact in other ways, revealing itself in a clear shift to non-EU countries and a growth in all-inclusive.

“Turkey has already overtaken Greece to claim the number two spot of most desirable summer destinations and Tunisia is working its way back up the popularity stakes as it re-establishes itself as a hotspot for British tourists.”