Strength of sterling boosts spending power on Far East holidays

UK holidaymakers planning winter sun holidays will pay less for tourist items in the vast majority of destinations compared with a year ago, new figures show.

A surge in sterling’s value against many long haul currencies – particularly those in the Far East – means prices have fallen in 88% of the locations included in a report by Post Office Travel Money.

Vietnam’s Hoi An was found to have the lowest local prices for UK visitors out of the 30 destinations analysed.

Average prices in the coastal city include £34.03 for a three-course evening meal for two with a bottle of house wine, £4.33 for suncream and £1.36 for a cup of filter coffee.

A drop in prices and the falling value of its currency, the dong, means costs have fallen by 19% since autumn 2022 for UK tourists.

Kenya’s Mombasa was the second best value location in the study as an increase in the value of sterling against the Kenyan shilling has outweighed the effect of rising prices.

Holidaymakers visiting the US, Caribbean and Dubai will also see a boost to their spending power because of the recovery of sterling against the US dollar and the Caribbean and Middle East currencies that are pegged to it.

The report found that inflation has not been as significant in many long haul destinations as it was in Europe this summer.

Laura Plunkett, head of travel money at Post Office, said: “After a summer when we reported that holidaymakers would have to dig deeper in their pockets on European holidays because of rising inflation, our research found that local price rises have been relatively low in most long haul resorts.

“As a result, the positive exchange rate means winter sun tourists will see their pounds stretch further in the majority of destinations.

“However, while prices may be lower once they get to their destination, we advise holidaymakers to consider the whole picture and factor in the package price before booking.”