Soaring pound gives UK tourists up to 14 per cent more travel cash
23 April 2012
The value of sterling is soaring, which means that UK holidaymakers can expect to have as much as 14 per cent more foreign cash in their pocket when they travel to Europe this year, compared with 2011¹. However, resort costs are on the move too and Post Office Travel Money's 2012 Holiday Costs Barometer reveals that rising prices have lost Spain its best value spot to Bulgaria.
At £42.79 for a shopping basket of 10 resort prices that include a three-course meal for two with drinks, light refreshments and other holiday essentials, Bulgaria is well ahead of its rivals when it comes to value and four per cent cheaper than a year ago.
Spain has dropped to fourth place in the survey of 15 leading short and mid-haul destinations by the Post Office, the UK's largest provider of holiday money. Escalating meal costs in the Costa del Sol have led to a 35 per cent rise in its barometer total since 2011. At £56.84 for the barometer items, Spain has been overtaken by Turkey (£54.22), the survey runner up.
Resort charges in Marmaris have dropped 22 per cent over the past year and are down by over a third compared with 2010, according to the Post Office research. Prices are now on par with 2008 when Turkey was a magnet for UK tourists in search of a bargain deal - but 28.5 per cent lower than in 2009 when costs first began to soar. The 2012 turnaround comes as restaurants and bars appear to have cut prices to bring back business, resulting in a drop of 12 per cent in local costs.
That benefit has been compounded by the stronger pound, which is currently giving UK tourists 14 per cent more Turkish cash in their travel wallets. This means that people exchanging £500 for Turkish lira will have £60 more to spend than last year.
The Algarve (£54.46) has also squeezed in ahead of the Costa del Sol for the first time in two years, making Portugal the cheapest eurozone destination surveyed. However, despite a fall of 7.7 per cent in the value of the euro, costs in the Algarve have risen by 10 per cent compared with last April.
There are mixed messages on pricing to report from the eurozone. In addition to the rises reported in Spain and Portugal, prices are up 11 per cent in Corfu. At £65.62 for the barometer items, the Greek island is 21 per cent pricier than its eastern Med neighbour Turkey. By contrast, costs have dropped 19 per cent in Cyprus (£57.57), 11 per cent in France's Vendée region (£66.43) and six per cent in Malta (£64.81).
At A Glance:
•Outside the eurozone, Croatia's prices are on par with 2011 (£73.65), making the fast-emerging Balkan destination second most expensive in the survey. However, an increase of 9.2 per cent in the pound's value against the Croatian kuna means that UK tourists changing £500 will have almost £36 more holiday cash to spend.
•Prices in Dubai are 15 per cent cheaper than in Egypt. This puts the Emirate six places higher in the barometer table than its mid-haul rival, despite a 10 per cent fall in costs in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of El Gouna.
•Barometer prices have fallen by nine per cent in Orlando, although the weaker pound means that sterling will buy 2.7 per cent fewer US dollars than last April.
•Sterling's surge in Europe has made the UK look more expensive compared with European resorts. As a result, Brighton is highest-priced in the Post Office survey.