More than half of overseas package holidays taken by Britons concentrate on just four countries, according to new research by The Co-operative Travel.
The study found that 53% of breaks are spread between Spain, Greece, Turkey and the US.
Cost is given as the main reason why plans to travel more widely have been put on hold, and 23% of adults say that they actually travel less than they did as children.
But the travel industry is also at fault by failing to promote lesser known countries as viable alternatives as almost all holidaymakers (93%) say that they wish they could travel more widely.
Brazil was named as one of the top destinations people wished they could visit among 21% of those surveyed.
However, despite the average cost of a holiday to Brazil (£1,010) being 35% lower than one to Barbados (£1,568), it ranks 34 places behind the Caribbean hotspot in the holiday league table.
The Co-operative Travel also points to Lebanon, which ranks a lowly 137 in the list of most visited destinations despite the average price of a holiday (£577) being broadly similar to that of Cyprus (£543) and significantly cheaper than Egypt (£645), which both feature in the top ten.
Retail distribution director Trevor Davis, commenting of the analysis of 8.9 million bookings, said: “People want to be sure that their holiday will be a success and the easiest way to ensure that is to stick to familiar destinations.
“However, with travel agents offering the widest ever choice, it is possible to get good face-to-face advice that might tempt your to try something new.
“We also believe that cost is a factor, however often this is perception rather than reality. What’s more likely to be holding these countries back is the failure of the mainstream holiday market to offer them as viable alternatives.
“When you look at places like Turkey that have risen in popularity in recent years, they have done so hand-in-hand with a concerted marketing effort by major operators.
“If travellers are saying that they wish to be more adventurous in their holiday choices, maybe the travel sector should be doing more to support them.”
Holidaymakers should use the resources available at their local travel agent.
“Many people would be surprised by the full scope of the holiday advice and support a high street travel agent can provide,” said Davis, adding that his company helps people travel to 142 different destinations “yet most people only really think of their high street travel agent as a gateway to a handful of these locations”.
Package holiday bookings per country
- Spain 29.05%
- Greece 9.94%
- Turkey 8.00%
- US 5.99%
- Egypt 4.89%
- Cyprus 4.14%
- France 2.94%
- Portugal 2.84%
- Italy 2.62%
- Tunisia 1.45%
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