By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
LONDON (AA) - Turkey is becoming one of the top destinations for British holidaymakers, according to the U.K.’s giant tour operator Thomas Cook.
According to the chief executive Peter Fankhauser early figures for this year show a shift to east from Spain for the summer of 2018, with “Turkey the stand-out market so far.”
"We continue to see significant margin pressure in holidays to Spain, our largest destination, due to higher hotel cost inflation and increased flight capacity," a Thomas Cook statement said.
"We continue to take actions to help mitigate this, by re-balancing our program towards higher margin destinations such as Turkey and Egypt, generating efficiencies, and re-positioning the business through greater online distribution and an intense focus on sales of holidays to own-brand hotels."
According to the latest figures, summer 2018 is 34 percent sold, 3 percent higher than this time last year. In the U.K., average selling prices are up 6 percent.
Fankhauser said Greece is once again selling strongly for the summer, but “Turkey has the potential to catch up to Greece".
"From all that we see so far, customers' appetite for a summer holiday abroad shows no sign of slowing down. We've taken early action to meet strong demand for destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he said.
Turkey’s tourism revenue reached $26.3 billion in 2017 with more than 38 million foreigners visiting the country, according to official figures.