As a new term signals both the end of the school holidays and the start of the winter sun season, Vietnam has emerged as the summer’s biggest success story in Post Office Travel Money’s Fastest Growing Currencies report for June to August.
The annual review revealed a year-on-year growth of 68% in currency sales – suggesting a boom in Vietnam holidays, fuelled by the introduction of direct flights last December and a host of new beach resorts.
Forecasts are equally promising for Brazil and Mexico. Sterling now buys 25% more Brazilian real than a year ago, making the destination significantly cheaper and helping to account for the 66% increase in currency sales reported for the summer months.
Mexico also managed to achieve a 144% growth in currency sales, with a further year-on-year increase of 40% – accelerating to 54% in August. Its prospects in the months ahead look good as more flight choice is likely to lead to greater competition for bookings, according to the report.
Research also suggested that destinations in Eastern Europe appear to have attracted significantly more visitors this year. While euro sales have been buoyant throughout the summer, currency trends indicate that beach resorts in Croatia and Bulgaria as well as destinations like Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland have experienced a growth in demand, with the region rated best value in April’s City Costs Barometer.
Andrew Brown, head of travel money at the company, said: “It may be no coincidence that the destinations which have notched up big increases in currency sales during the summer have been ones where sterling has most surged in value. Gains of over 20% compared with 12 months ago have been commonplace in Eastern Europe and Latin America. The boom in demand suggests that holidaymakers are becoming increasingly canny and watching exchange rates as well as seeking out keenly-priced packages before deciding on their destination.
“Looking ahead, the strength of sterling suggests that European short breaks could enjoy a renaissance this autumn – especially to cities with a reputation for value. Similarly, we expect to see continuing strong demand for emerging Far East destinations like Vietnam and Korea and for the Latin American countries.
“However, holidaymakers should ensure they do not lose out by getting a poor exchange rate if they wait to change money at the airport. They should buy currency in advance or take a pre-paid card like the Travel Money Card Plus.”