Sterling volatility disrupts winter sun holiday planning – survey


Sterling’s volatility is affecting the plans of millions of people planning winter holidays in the sun, a new survey has found.

According to a YouGov poll for Post Office Travel Money, the plans of 59% of UK adults who previously considered booking a holiday abroad have been affected by the recent drop in the value of the pound.

A quarter of respondents said fluctuating exchange rates mean they won’t travel abroad in the coming months, while the same proportion will choose a cheaper destination.

Some 28% of respondents are delaying their trip and a third (33%) intend to reduce their spending budget.

Costs in Cancun, Mexico, increased by 42.6% compared to 2019 (Alamy/PA)

The pound plunged to historic lows against the US dollar following Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini budget on September 23, but has since recovered.

Price analysis by Post Office Travel Money in partnership with holiday company Travelbag found that UK travelers are paying more for typical tourist costs at four out of five popular long-haul winter sun destinations, compared to the UK. pre-pandemic year of 2019.

Based on exchange rates as of October 1, costs increased by more than 20% in 14 of the 28 sites studied, including St. John’s, Antigua (up 55.3%); Cancun, Mexico (+42.6%); Orlando, United States (up 28.8%); and Chinatown, Singapore (25.0%).

But significant price drops in places like Hoi An, Vietnam; Phuket, Thailand; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Jumeirah, Dubai means trips to these places are more advantageous than before the coronavirus crisis.

The coastal city of Hoi An tops the list of cheapest destinations despite the decline in the value of the pound against the Vietnamese dong over the past three years.

Dubai Skyline GV

Significant price cuts in places like Dubai mean travel to these places is cheaper than before the coronavirus pandemic (Yui Mok/PA)

Costs for UK visitors are down 10% from 2019 due to a sharp drop in local prices.

Tourists pay just £1.60 for a cup of filter coffee in a cafe or bar, £2.23 for a small bottle or tube of insect repellent in a supermarket and £43.14 for a three-course dinner for two with a bottle of house wine at a restaurant.

Nick Boden, Head of Post Office Travel Money, said: “With the continued uncertainty surrounding the pound, it is more important than ever for people planning winter sun holidays to do their homework and know the prices of the destinations they are considering.

“Holiday costs remain low in popular resorts like Vietnam, Thailand and Jamaica, but people who choose the wrong destination risk falling victim to higher prices.”

Mr Boden advised people planning winter trips to the sun to ‘watch the movements of exchange rates’ in the weeks leading up to their departure and ‘buy their holiday money when the pound goes up in value’.

YouGov surveyed 2,081 UK adults on September 29-30.

The survey results are based on responses from 1,283 people who said they were considering a holiday abroad.

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