Santorini village in Greece. Picture: Michelle Maria/Pixabay

London - Fewer British tourists are choosing holidays in EU nations this year after a fall in the pound against the euro and uncertainty over the country's future status in the bloc, a major tour operator reported on Monday.

Thomas Cook said 48 per cent of its summer bookings are for non-EU destinations, a year-on-year rise of 10 percentage points.

Turkey is the biggest beneficiary of the shift, overtaking Greece to become the second most popular choice for summer package holidays, after Spain, the operator said in its 2019 UK Holiday Report.

"It is now clear that the prolonged uncertainty around the manner and timing of Britain's exit from the European Union has led many to delay their decision on when and where they book for their summer holidays," it said.

Thomas Cook said about two-thirds of customers had booked all-inclusive packages that include meals, as they seek to "avoid losing out to the unsteady British pound."

"Britain may be living through unique times from a political perspective, however, our desire to holiday abroad is clear," said Will Waggott, Thomas Cook's head of tour operations.

Waggot said the report "reveals that the political turmoil is having an impact in other ways, revealing itself in a clear shift to non-EU countries and a growth in all-inclusive [packages]."

The fluctuating pound has fallen about 12 per cent against the euro since Britain voted to leave the EU in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

dpa