Turkey top spot with North East travellers preparing 2019 holiday

Beach at Side, Antalya, Turkey.
Beach at Side, Antalya, Turkey.

In what is traditionally the biggest month for holiday bookings, travel agent Thomas Cook has revealed the most popular hotspots that North East residents are booking to beat the January blues.

According to data from the company’s Metro Centre Discovery store, Turkey, Greece and the Balearics are the most popular for the second year running, with Turkey taking top spot over Greece while Tunisia is moving up the ranks.*

1. Turkey

2. Greece

3. Balearics

4. Canaries

5. Cyprus

6. Tunisia

7. Malta

8. Egypt

9. Mainland Spain

10. Portugal

Top 10 package holiday destinations based on bookings from Newcastle for 2019.*

The Discovery store has “try before you buy” virtual reality technology.

Store manager Sandra Foreman said: “Once again, many of our customers are turning their attention to their next holiday and a sunshine break they can look forward to.

“A holiday is their largest annual purchase, so they want to sit down with an agent who can provide inspiration and personal recommendations to suit their budget from our wide range of quality holidays.”

With value for money influencing more and more this year where people book, Sandra and her team have predicted that Turkey, where the Lira remains relatively weak, will continue to be their most popular destination.

They also believe that all-inclusive packages are set to become even more popular due to uncertainty around exchange rates as customers want to ‘lock in’ costs for food and drink when they book.

The other destination to watch is Tunisia. February marks a year since Thomas Cook was the first tour operator to return to the country.

It offers sunshine at a fair price, thanks to it being a non-Euro destination, which is a factor in its popularity among families and adults.

The team of 15 at the Metro Centre store have more than 200 years of experience in travel between them, including the longest serving member with 30 years.

They have travelled to many countries between them, including personal favourites include Florida and Turkey, where one of the team lived for more than 10 years.

The store’s cruise expert Gail Cooper was the company’s top selling cruise agent in 2018 and is all set to welcome customers to January cruise events with P&O, Celebrity, Princess Cruises Royal Caribbean and Silver Seas.