Holidays to Turkey rise as lira hits record low against pound

By Guardian Web

Taking a holiday in Turkey has become much cheaper, with the lira falling by 34% over the past year to hit a record low against the pound. Holidaymakers will now get 697 lira for £100, compared with 460 last year (both before exchange fees).

The lira’s fall comes as the pound slumped to its lowest level against the euro and US dollar this year, and holidaymakers are being warned against exchanging pounds for euros at airports – where they will get less than a euro for a pound.

“The lira is at an all-time low against the pound and thanks to the heatwave [making holidaymakers put off booking trips abroad] there are a lot of good-value deals on offer, so there’s never been a better time to holiday in Turkey,” said Anth Mooney of Thomas Cook Money, who also advises those planning a trip to Turkey to take advantage of the rates by loading a prepaid card with lira.

The company has reported an increase of 63% in its holiday bookings to Turkey this year, with Antalya overtaking Spain’s Palma de Mallorca as Thomas Cook Airline’s most-served airport for UK customers (57 flights a week to the Turkish city versus 41 to Palma). This follows on from reports earlier this year of a recovery period for tourism in Turkey after a series of terror attacks in 2016. Thomas Cook says the country now has the highest number of return customers, helping make it a “standout destination for summer 2018”.

The tour operator has also reported a boost in other non-euro countries in 2018, including Egypt, up 80% this year, and Bulgaria, up 30%. Tunisia has been exceeding expectations – following terrorist attacks in 2015 – prompting Thomas Cook Airlines to increase the number of flights to the destination to 11 a week this summer.

TUI also reports Turkey as a top European destination for UK tourists this summer: it ranks third after Spain and Greece, with Italy fourth and Cyprus fifth and is “well and truly back on the map as a top summer holiday location”. A spokesperson said today that they have “certainly seen an increase in bookings to Turkey”.

Despite its popularity with tourists, Turkey is facing pressure to act as an economic crisis looks imminent. The lira’s slump comes after growing tension between Turkey and the US, as Donald Trump’s administration announced it was reviewing the country’s duty-free access to the US market, which could affect tax on $1.7bn of Turkish exports.

This article provided by NewsEdge.