Page last updated at 04:55 GMT, Friday, 26 December 2008

UK tourists 'head out of Europe'

A bucket and spade
More British people are expected to book holidays out of Europe

Many Britons will shun holidays in continental Europe next year because of the falling value of sterling against the euro, a report says.

The Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) and the Foreign Office found people were choosing places such as Turkey, Egypt and Mexico instead.

The Foreign Office says people should check local laws before travelling outside Europe.

It says certain behaviour might not be acceptable in places such as Dubai.

The report found that the number of people going to Egypt was up 38% and bookings for Turkey had risen 32%.

Other likely hotspots include Poland, Croatia, Israel, Cuba, the Caribbean, Iceland and Dubai.

Caravan holidays

Following Barack Obama's election as US president, 13% more Britons are set to visit the country next year, the report also suggests.

Those surveyed said the historic significance of the election, low fuel prices and a low cost of living were likely to outweigh the fact that the pound has fallen against the dollar.

The report said the numbers of people going on camping or caravanning holidays are also expected to rise.

The number of people holidaying at the homes of family or friends is also expected to increase.

Frances Tuke, from Abta, said: "Over the past few years we have seen travellers becoming more adventurous and travelling further afield and this will continue in 2009 as non-Eurozone countries will offer very good value for money - often at very high standards.

"But when travelling to these destinations, it is very important to check Foreign Office advice and ensure you make sure you see a health professional who will recommend what vaccinations you may need and what precautions you should take."

Julian Braithwaite, director of consular services at the Foreign Office, said: "Many of the changes that we'll see taking place across the travel industry over the next year will have a direct impact on the welfare of British holidaymakers."

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