Chester, United Kingdom (PressExposure) April 15, 2009 -- A new survey by M&S Money has revealed that more than a third of British travellers* (36%) take into account the strength of a country's currency in relation to the pound when planning their holiday abroad. It's not surprising, therefore, that holiday resorts outside the eurozone continue to increase in popularity as Brits look for the best value destinations.
According to the M&S travel money survey, Egypt and Turkey - two of the most popular destinations in 2008 - are set to be firm favourites again this year. Sales of the Egyptian pound and Turkish lira have increased by 20% and 46% respectively in Q1 compared to the same period in 2008.
M&S bureaux staff have also reported increased demand for the Kenyan shilling. The Kenyan government is keen to boost tourism in the country and recently announced that Visa rates would be cut to make the country more appealing to visitors. The Minister of Tourism for Kenya announced that entry visa rates are to be reduced by 50% and completely cut for children under 16 from April 1 until the end of 2010.
For travellers seeking a short-haul destination, Iceland is set to be a popular option this year. British travellers now get much more for their money when visiting Iceland - the strength of the krona against the pound has dropped by 65% compared to March 2008. Year-on-year sales of the krona have increased by 32%.
The long-haul destinations of South Africa and Mexico are also enjoying increased interest from UK holidaymakers.
James Yerkess, M&S Travel Money Manager, said: "The falling value of the pound in the past year means that holidaymakers are looking around for resorts where they are getting more for their money. Brits still want to enjoy a holiday, but they are being more selective about where they go."
Overall M&S Money is continuing to see a large increase in people exchanging foreign currencies for sterling, with a 21% year-on-year increase in the amount of foreign currency exchanged for sterling at M&S bureaux during Q1.
M&S Money has also found that, as the strength of currencies including the euro, US dollar and Japanese yen has grown against sterling in the past year, customers using the M&S commission-free âbuy backâ service are now much better off when exchanging foreign currency. Customers are also exchanging large amounts of Australian dollars, Swiss francs and UAE dirhams.
Notes to Editors *All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2154 adults. Online survey fieldwork undertaken 23-26 Jan09. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).