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British Visitors to Turkey to Grow 25% in 2009 – ABTA

Turkey is overtaking Spain as the most popular summer getaway with British travellers according to Quest Turkey, quoting a major British tour operator April 14. The article hinted at the information coming from the Association for British Travel Agents, whilst not actually stating that is where it had come from.

I decided to call ABTA to see if I could confirm or deny the report: Shaun from ABTA explained that the article would likely be based on a press release issued last year, by one ABTA member that found Dalaman to be the most popular resort in its top ten, more popular than Mallorca, which had previously always held the top spot. He also told me that five of the top 10 were in Spain, meaning that Spain was still most popular overall.

Though Shaun was keen to stress that Turkey has not overtaken Spain as most popular with British holidaymakers; receiving 2million British visitors compared to Spain’s 11million, he still gave me some very positive news about Turkish tourism:

Spain he told me had peaked, and though now receiving the most British tourists by a large margin, that it is now static.

“There is no growth [in Spanish tourism from Britain] and in fact it is likely to drop off a little this year because of the strength of the Euro,” he said.

Turkey on the other hand is growing massively; by 20-25% per year for the last two years. I asked Shaun if Turkish tourism is expected to grow this year and he said:

“Oh yes, definitely, I would say it would probably be up by about 25% at the end of this year.”

So there you have it: the number of British visitors to Turkey is expected to grow 25% this year according to the Association of British Travel Agents.

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