Countries in North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean previously suffering from terrorist attacks are firmly back on the radar for summer 2019 holidays.
Analysis of search data by price comparison site TravelSupermarket reveals a resurgence of interest in Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey.
Tunisia, where 30 British holidaymakers were among 38 people killed by an Islamist gunman in Sousse in June 2015, tops the countries which have seen some of the largest increases in interest in the last year.
Travelsupermarket travel commentator Emma Coulthurst said: “We saw a sizeable uplift in price searches to go there in 2018 and searches are still on their way up. It is clear that Brits are keen to return to this North African gem and we expect that to continue in 2019.
“The pound is strong against the Tunisian dinar, meaning this already good-value destination becomes a great-value holiday. Plus, it’s just a few hours away from the UK”.
Searches have soared in particular for the family-friendly resort town of Hammamet.
The Red Sea region of Hurghada is leading the return of resorts in Egypt, according to the search site.
Coulthurst said: “Political upheaval in the area over the last decade has seen visitor numbers to the country, for whom tourism is a critical part of its economy, fall dramatically. In 2016, visitor arrivals were nearly a third of what they had been just six years earlier in 2010, for example.
“With Sharm el Sheikh airport off limits to UK arrivals now for more than three years due to FCO concerns about its security procedures, Brit holidaymakers looked elsewhere for their holidays.
“However, things have changed in the last year and Egypt is now officially back on Brits’ list as a go-to sun destination.
“The country has been heavily marketing itself to UK holidaymakers, hotels have been dropping their prices to lure Brits back and it has paid off.
“Resorts such as Hurghada and Marsa Alam and Makadi Bay, on the western shores of the Red Sea and accessible through Hurghada international airport, are seeing a renaissance of visitors due to good value holiday packages from the UK, a sub-six hour flight time and reliable sunny weather.
“Hurghada has seen an 81% increase in interest from Brits in going there in 2018, compared with 2017, taking it from the 60th to the 31st most-searched-for destination for a package holiday on TravelSupermarket.”
Turkey bounced back in 2018 after a few tumultuous years, helped by the weak Turkish lira.
But cheap package holiday prices may not last long if the upward trend in holidays here continues as predicted.
“Turkey is back in the frame with Brits, with many families and couples going there in 2018 from the UK. But, increased demand can mean increased prices so prices may rise closer to the summer, so it is best to grab a deal there, while you can,” Coulthurst said.
Other destinations attracting interest include Croatia, Valencia and Barcelona in Spain, Athens and Bali.
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