The Caribbean Islands, Hong Kong and Dubai were some of the popular destinations affected by sterling’s slump earlier in 2009, according to Hayes & Jarvis. But British holidaymakers can now expect their pounds to stretch further in these countries as well as in the USA because of sterling’s improving fortunes.
The latest currency comparisons from the Post Office, the UK’s largest provider of travel money, show that sterling is over 13 per cent stronger against the dollar than 12 months ago – and will now buy around 24 per cent extra dollars than at its low point in March 2009. Similarly sterling is around 13.5 per cent stronger than in November 2008 against the East Caribbean dollar and the Hong Kong dollar, while visitors to Dubai can expect to pocket 16 per cent more UAE dirham. (Properties for sale in the Caribbean)
Niel Alobaidi, Hayes & Jarvis Commercial Director, said that British holidaymakers able to get away in the coming weeks can expect a double dose of good fortune. “Not only will the pound stretch further in dollar destinations than it has done in recent times, but we are continuing to source excellent discounts from hotels and airlines, which means that there are considerable savings to be made on pre-Christmas trips. Late bookers can save as much as 32 per cent if they act quickly.”
Recent trends suggest that people are keeping a close eye on long haul holiday prices. “Customers have been switching on to the great deals currently available and we have seen a strong pull back in bookings for Caribbean destinations like St Lucia and Antigua as well as USA and stopover cities like Hong Kong and Dubai,” Alobaidi added.
Post Office currency sales trends support this growth trend, reporting a year on year upturn during October in purchases of US dollars (+ three per cent,) – the first growth noted in several months. Meanwhile sales of East Caribbean dollars rocketed by 70 per cent in October, while purchases of Hong Kong dollars rose by 14 per cent and UAE dirhams by 11 per cent.