Thousands of Britons are expected to return to Turkey, one of their favorite vacations, after the booking frenzy broke out when overseas travel rules were shaken.
Britain relaxed rules for international travel on Friday to boost tourism, including eliminating the need for fully vaccinated travelers to undergo costly Covit-19 tests when arriving from less dangerous countries.
Under the new plans, targets will be ranked lower or higher risk instead of red, amber, and green. Eight countries, including Turkey, Pakistan and the Maldives, will be removed from the high-risk red belt.
The result is that vaccinated people returning from Turkey do not have to be isolated in a hotel. These changes will go into effect on Wednesday.
The news has already sparked a huge spike in vacation bookings.
Vacation company TUI said it had seen a “spike” in bookings for Turkey, which had spent the entire summer in the red travel category.
The country was added to the high-risk segment in May and has since been largely limitless for UK travelers, holding back the country’s vibrant tourism industry and the vacation plans of millions of visitors.
Turkey was the most popular destination on the red list, attracting around 2.3 million British tourists a year before the epidemic.
Starting October 4, travelers from less dangerous countries will be able to perform cheaper lateral flow tests, now more than privately administered PCR lab tests. PCR tests for a family now cost hundreds of pounds.
The government says unvaccinated passengers should be isolated for another 10 days and tested for coronavirus before and after their trips.
Andrew Flintham, Managing Director of TUI UK, said the changes would be a “positive improvement” and would provide “much needed peace of mind” for those looking to book travel.
Steve Hebei, CEO of Jet.com and Jet2 Holidays, said demand had increased in recent days, adding that “there has been an immediate and massive increase in flight bookings and vacation packages behind this good news for travelers. vacationers”.
Heppi said that bookings have increased “by more than 250%”, which shows that Turkey is “exceptionally popular”.
“Thanks to the security that yesterday’s announcement gave customers, places like summer, winter or next summer are selling well. Unsurprisingly, the semester dates have seen an increase in bookings for families, ”said Heepy.
He noted that flights to Antalya and Dalaman, including Birmingham airport, will resume from September 23.
“We are pleased to relaunch this project and with great deals we know there will be separate demand for late summer sun, mid-October break and winter sun. This applies to more than 40 locations where we operate.
The Daily Mail reported a 133% increase in traffic in the 30 minutes after Skyscanner’s announcement, while searches for places like Turkey and the Maldives saw a “big spike” in anticipation of Friday’s news.
The Turkish Travel Agencies Association (TÜRSAB) expects at least 200,000 visitors from the UK over the next three months.
“We believe that this decision was made too early. Our guests from the UK, who have lost Turkey and want to vacation in our country, have been waiting for this decision, ”the association said in a statement.
He noted that tour operators have started taking bookings in anticipation of growth. “We hope that the decision to exclude Turkey from the red list will have a positive impact on tourism.”
Although Turkish tourism saw a strong improvement over last year, foreign tourist arrivals for July quadrupled to 4.36 million, which was below pre-epidemic levels as the UK’s absence blocked the progress.