Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Winter holiday pound to go further in Asia-28 September, 2009

The Far East offers the best winter sun value for British holidaymakers, a new study shows.
Those offering the best value include destinations such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, according to First Rate Exchange Services, the wholesaler behind the Post Office’s foreign exchange service.
Thailand again tops the barometer of holiday spending costs, but Bali and Malaysia are close contenders – all three significantly cheaper than any of Europe’s winter sun options.
Estimates show that package prices to Thailand could be up to a quarter cheaper than last winter.
The country also benefits from a shopping basket of popular tourist staples priced at just £38.13, which is around one third of the cost in Australia, whose basket totals £104.95 – making it the highest priced of 16 long haul destinations in a Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer.
The Indonesian destination of Bali enjoyed its best year this decade with demand up 54% during the summer for its currency, the rupiah. This makes it the third fastest growing currency in Post Office branches, behind the Kenyan shilling and South African rand.
But a sterling recovery puts Mexico and Jamaica high among the contenders for best value winter sun trips.
Holidaymakers returning to Mexico, hard-hit earlier this year by the swine flu epidemic, can expect over 12% more pesos for their pounds.
Jamaica was the cheapest of the Caribbean destinations surveyed– 21% cheaper than Antigua. With sterling currently worth more than 12% more than a year ago, the Jamaican dollar is close behind the Mexican peso in offering UK tourists the most currency for their pounds this winter, according to the study.
Despite sterling’s slide against the dollar in early 2009, the research shows that almost one third of holidaymakers planning winter trips will head to the US.
With sterling now worth 21% more than at its low point in March, UK tourists can benefit from lower prices in shops and restaurants hit hard by the credit crunch.
First Rate Exchange Services managing director Gordon Gourlay said: “As sterling once again plummets against the euro people will be looking for destinations which offer guaranteed sunshine, combined with prices that don’t break the bank.
“We’re expecting increased demand from foreign currency retailers for more exotic currencies such as Thai Baht this winter.
“Dollar sales should also remain strong as the USA looks set to remain a popular destination. Despite sterling’s continued weakness against the dollar, price cuts made by many holiday operators means a trip across the Atlantic will still offer good value to UK travellers.”
by Phil Davies
Post a Comment