Sterling volatility disrupts winter sun holiday planning: survey

The volatility of the British pound is affecting the plans of millions of people planning a sunny winter holiday, a new survey suggests.

The plans of 59% of UK adults previously considering booking a holiday abroad have been affected by the recent drop in the value of the pound, according to a YouGov survey for Post Office Travel Money.

A quarter of those surveyed said fluctuating exchange rates mean they won’t be taking a trip abroad in the coming months, while the same proportion will choose a cheaper destination.

28% of those surveyed delay their trip and a third (33%) intend to cut their spending budget.

A beach club in Cancun, Mexico

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

The pound fell to record lows against the US dollar in the wake of Foreign Minister Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget on September 23, but has since recovered.

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

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

But sizable price cuts in places like Hoi An, Vietnam; Phuket, Thailand; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Jumeirah, Dubai means trips to those places are better value than before the coronavirus crisis.

The coastal city of Hoi An topped the ranking of the cheapest destinations despite the British pound falling in value against the Vietnamese dong in the last three years.

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Dubai Skyline GV

Considerable price cuts in places like Dubai mean trips to these places are better value than before the coronavirus pandemic (Yui Mok/PA)

Costs for UK visitors are down 10% compared to 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 courses for two people with a bottle of house wine in a restaurant.

Nick Boden, director of Post Office Travel Money, said: “With continued uncertainty over the pound sterling, it is more important than ever for people planning winter sun breaks to do their homework and be aware of prices in destinations. they are considering.

“Vacation costs remain low in popular long-haul destinations like Vietnam, Thailand and Jamaica, but people who choose the wrong destination risk falling victim to higher prices.”

Boden advised people planning winter sun trips to “watch exchange rate movements” in the weeks before they leave and “buy your holiday money when the pound rises in value.”

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

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

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