Holidaymakers benefit as sterling makes big gains

British Pounds - APD rise

Sterling has risen against all the top 40 holiday currencies in the last year, with South Africa, Brazil, Turkey and Australia among the destinations getting notably cheaper for UK travellers.

The annual Post Office Travel Money survey comperes exchange rates this month with those in February 2013. The biggest gain is almost 37% against the South African Rand, with a pound buying more than 17 Rand compared to less than 13 last year.

The second biggest gain was against the Brazilian Real, which will greatly add to the appeal of packages to this summer’s World Cup. Sterling has gained 33%, with £500 now buying an extra £125 of the Brazilian currency. Next in terms of movement was the Indonesian Rupiah, another 33% gain, which is also important as direct flights to the country from Gatwick start in May.

Turkey, whose currency showed the fourth biggest movement, was the only mainstream destination to feature in the top 10. A pound was worth 2.6 Lira last year, but 3.47 this year. Below this, other big changes were Jamaica, now 28% cheaper and Australia, 25%.

Thailand is also a big gain, with the UK traveller getting almost 20% more for their money. This, combined with lower resort costs, makes the destinations ripe for recovery once the political turmoil in Bangkok ends.

The bad news for operators and consumers is that sterling gained much less against the Euro. A pound now buys €1.17, compared with €1.1 a year ago. This is a 5.6% movement, which puts it at number 38 in the Post Office’s top 40 with only Bulgaria and, bottom of the list, Switzerland showing smaller improvements.

Sourced from TTG Digital

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