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American Express Global Foreign Exchange Services Currency Index

Brits were determined to take annual summer holiday despite the economic climate

Whilst Brits may have left it to the last minute to book, it appears the annual summer holiday is here to stay in spite of the current economic climate, according to the latest American Express Global Foreign Exchange Services Currency Index.

Brits were not prepared to forgo their sunshine ‘hit’ Terry Perrin, Director of Trading & Business Development at American Express Global Foreign Exchange Services explains: “Currency sales in the third quarter of this year (July – September 2009), remain on par with previous years, suggesting that despite the tightening of purse strings up and down the country, Brits were just not prepared to forgo their annual summer holiday.

“Undoubtedly the much published no-show ‘barbeque summer’ also helped fuel the trend in last minute bookings and currency sales towards the end of the season.” Turkey and Egypt continue to attract Brits with guaranteed sun and inclusive packages.

“We continued to see significant year-on-year volume increases in currencies for destinations such as Turkey and Egypt, by as much as 26% and 60% (respectively), as holidaymakers looked to destinations that offer guaranteed sunshine and value for money.” 

American Express Global Foreign Exchange Service predicts that Turkey and Egypt will continue to be hotspots in 2010 with holiday makers enticed by an abundance of all inclusive package deals and the opportunity to make their pennies go further outside the Eurozone.

Holidaymakers are still racking up their ‘long-haul air miles’ UK demand for currencies to long-haul destinations such as Mexico, Thailand, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica have also increased year-on-year and follow the trend seen in Q2 that holidaymakers are prepared to travel long-haul and outside the Eurozone for value for money destinations.

These findings go hand-in-hand with the decline in demand for currencies linked to traditional mini-break destinations such as the Czech Republic Koruna (Prague), which has fallen five places since Q3 2008 and the Polish Zloty (Krakow), which has fallen by two places. This suggests that many holidaymakers are still opting for more premium holiday destinations but reigning in their overall annual spend by going without mini-breaks.

The South African Rand set to ‘shine’ in 2010
Another ‘long-haul’ currency that has increased in popularity since 2008 is the South African Rand. Perrin said: “Whilst the South African Rand has only risen up the American Express league table by one place since 2008, it is certainly moving in the right direction. With South Africa being the host to the much anticipated 2010 World Cup, we expect its currency to be a significant ‘mover’ in Q1 and Q2 of 2010, with sizeable volume increases.”

Demand for the United Arab Emirates Dirham has also risen by one place since 2008, the only typical longer-haul ‘mini-break’ currency to increase, proving that Brits’ fascination with Dubai is set to continue.

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