ISTANBUL 

Britons eager to travel amid promising vaccination efforts against the coronavirus are expected to visit one of their favorite destinations — Turkey. 

“Last year, Turkey’s tourism sector saw a fall in tourist demand from the EU, but the UK remained out of this picture,” Firuz Baglikaya, the head of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB), said Monday.

Baglikaya told Anadolu Agency that Britons are rushing to book their favorite destinations in Turkey as the current vaccination process in the UK is boosting optimism.

“In 2021, we expect a growing number of British tourists coming to Turkey,” he said, adding Britons are showing greater interest in holiday destinations such as Mugla and Antalya in southern Turkey.

He said tour operators in the UK have been reporting a surge in bookings for Turkish holiday destinations, adding the main reason is the UK government’s plans to gradually relax coronavirus restrictions.

Baglikaya noted that holiday reservations from England are mostly concentrated in July, but August and September are the months when a significant amount of reservations are also made.

“We anticipate that the season will extend until November,” he said.

TUI, the UK’s largest tour operator, said last week that its bookings had surged sixfold, adding the vaccination campaign in the UK caused a serious increase in summer vacation reservations made by people over 50 years old.

Discount airline easyJet also noted that demand for flights had more than tripled and package holiday company Thomas Cook said traffic on its website rose 75%.

*Writing and contributions by Aysu Bicer

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