British holidaymakers eye Portugal and Spain amid security issues in Egypt, Turkey

British tourists are increasing turning to destinations like Portugal and Spain for their holidays this summer, while previously popular destinations of Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia are being dropped for security reasons, according to a report by The Telegraph.

Citing figures, the report noted that reservations for Portugal have increased by nearly 32 per cent, while that to Spain has seen a 27 per cent rise, with other destinations like Cyprus and Malta also figuring in the sought-after list.

Meanwhile airlines and travel groups are registering a drop in business to traditionally popular destinations like Tunisia and Egypt, following terrorist incidents and changes to Foreign Office travel advice. Turkey has seen reservations drop by 50 per cent following a bomb blast in Istanbul last month, which saw ten people killed in a busy tourist area, the report noted.

Following the trend, travel group ABTA has issued a notice to tourists to book their holidays early this year. Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive, said: ‘The significant increase in summer holiday bookings to western Mediterranean destinations is also being mirrored in other Northern European markets.

‘So it makes it more important than ever that customers book early to obtain the best value and ensure they get the holiday of their choice.’

Besides, amid rising demand for the supposedly safer destinations, many of the airlines are now diverting flights to high-demand areas.

Last week Thomas Cook has said that it has moved 400,000 seats from Turkey to Spain, while tour operator Thompson said it has increased capacity significantly to Spain to meet the demand. Monarch airlines said that the eight flights a week schedule which were previously going to Sharm-el-Sheikh, in Egypt, had all now been diverted to Spain following the ban of all UK airlines to the site, which saw 38 people gunned down on a beach last year.

Citing the latest data from the Office of National Statistics, the report added that UK residents are taking more overseas holidays than ever. The Travel and Tourism report showed Britons made 13.4million visits abroad in the three months to December 2015, an increase of 10 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier, the Telegraph added.