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Falling pound leaves tourists short

Travel money18/03/13

By Tom Midlane

A sharp fall in the value of sterling will leave many holidaymakers short on spending money this Easter.

Whether it's money for eating out or buying souvenirs for friends and family back home, the price of travelling overseas can quickly mount up.

But thanks to falling exchange rates, Brits are now getting far fewer euros and dollars to the pound, even compared to only a few weeks ago, figures from Post Office Travel Money have revealed.

The pound plummeted 5.4 per cent against the euro and 5.5 per cent against the US dollar in the 12 months to mid-March 2012.

The pound also weakened against the currencies of other European nations who have not adopted the Euro, such as Sweden, Norway, Turkey, Bulgaria and Poland.

The upshot is that British tourists may have to venture further afield in order to find value for money on their travels.

Japan, Argentina, Egypt, Jamaica, Sri Lanka and the Czech Republic all offer favourable exchange rates.

Perhaps top of the pile is South Africa, where UK travellers can now expect more than 17 per cent more rand when swapping their pounds compared to a year ago, while the pound has strengthened 11.7% against the Argentinian peso and 11.6% against the Japanese yen.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said the fall in sterling in recent weeks meant in was "doubly important" for British tourists to opt for destinations where resort prices are low.

"With the falling value of sterling, we advise holidaymakers to budget carefully and to take enough spending money to cover all costs," Mr Brown added.

"The one positive of a weaker pound is that anyone who is hoarding leftover foreign currency could find they will get more pounds in their pocket if they exchange it back into sterling now."

Sean Dowd, commercial manager of holiday company Hayes & Jarvis, described the value of sterling as "volatile" at present.

However, he said holiday bookings to regions where the pound has strengthened over the last 12 months, such as Africa and Latin America, are soaring.

Demand for Brazilian holidays is likely to skyrocket over the next two years as the country shapes up to host the World Cup in 2014, Mr Dowd added.

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