Belfast Telegraph

Holidaymakers flocking to Europe despite fall in pound

By Margaret Canning

Northern Ireland sunseekers aren't letting the weak pound put them off holidaying in Europe's traditional resorts, a travel agent has said. Angela Taylor of Oasis Travel, which has five shops in Northern Ireland, said people were still travelling to Spanish resorts such as Majorca and the Costa del Sol, while Portugal and Italy were also popular.

The pound has lost around 14% of its value against the euro since last year - but Ms Taylor said people were economising elsewhere to make up for having to spend more on holiday.

"I think people are saying that a summer family holiday is a must but instead they might be putting off buying that new kitchen or new car," she said.

But Ms Taylor, office manager of Oasis Travel in Belfast's Howard Street, said bookings for holiday destinations which had seen terror attacks in recent years, including Tunisia, which was struck in 2015, and Turkey, had fallen.

And Croatia - which is outside the eurozone - had been growing in popularity for visitors from Northern Ireland, with destinations such as the Dubrovnik Riviera at the southern city. She said: "People see it as somewhere different and come back with really good reports about the scenery."

Meanwhile, Thomson owner Tui has also said British holidaymakers are shrugging off the soaring cost of overseas trips from the Brexit-hit pound as summer bookings held firm.

The group said UK bookings were "as high as the previous year", while customer numbers lifted 5% in the third quarter thanks to Easter's later timing.

Tui also cheered strong demand for core European destinations after it switched away from Turkey and upped its group-wide sales outlook for the year.

It is expecting annual turnover to rise by more than 3%, while Tui also said it made an underlying profit over the first nine months of its financial year.

Belfast Telegraph