Holidays: Britons ditch Greece for new favourite – despite country’s stringent tourist ban

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Greece has been a relatively popular destination with tourists this year due to its relatively low coronavirus infection rate. But now, demand in the last fortnight for late summer holidays to Greece has fallen by 17 percent, according to price comparison search data from TravelSupermarket. The interest in holidaying there has dropped since a number of Greek Islands were added to the quarantine list.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development office (FCDO) is advising against all but essential travel to Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos (Zante).

Wales also introduced its own 14-day quarantine rules for certain Greek islands which include Mykonos, Zakynthos (Zante), Lesvos, Paros and Antiparos, Crete, Santorini, Serifos and Tinos.

Scots have also been advised against travelling to mainland Greece and any of its island destinations.

The huge blow for holidaymakers has also seen the price of package holidays to Greece drop by 27 percent.

Travel commentator Emma Coulthurst from the holiday price comparison site, TravelSupermarket said that there are “definite winners and losers” in the holiday market at the moment.

She explained: “No doubt, the adding by UK Governments of restrictions to some or all parts of Greece is a reason for the demand decrease for holidays to the country.

“However, some Greek Islands such as Kos, Rhodes and Corfu, which remain exempt from UK travel restrictions, have benefited from the UK travel advice against travel to other parts of Greece.”

Although some Greek islands, Spain, France and Portugal (among others), have quarantine rules in place, there are some countries which have been added to the travel corridor list in recent weeks.

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Last week, Thailand and Singapore were removed from the quarantine list in a boost for Britons’ future holidays.

Since Thailand was added to the safe list, price comparison searches for the country have also jumped by 55 percent in the last two weeks.

Ms Coulthurst wonders whether this is due to the government’s recent travel advice.

She said: “The UK Government said last week that Thailand was back on the UK travel corridor list. I worry that this could have given people false hope.

“The reality is that, even if the UK Government says that they don’t mind you travelling there and says that there is a travel corridor, it is a prime example of where the country being discussed is not in agreement.

“The Thai Government continues to have its borders closed to tourism. So, it is impossible to currently take a holiday there.

“The UK Government needs to be much clearer in its communication on where you can and can’t travel to”.

But Thailand is not the only country that has seen a surge in interest.

Demand for breaks in Poland and Italy from the UK has increased 25 percent and 18 percent respectively.

Looking at specific destinations, searches have risen the most for city breaks to Krakow (23 percent) and to Rome (32 percent).

Turkey also continues to be a firm favourite among Britons with 30 percent of late summer holiday interest in the last fortnight being for packages to Turkey.

This is the largest share of overall package holiday late summer search and a 15 percent increase compared with the previous fortnight.

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