Weak pound hits holidaymakers on long-haul trips

By Neil Lancefield, PA Travel Correspondent

Holidaymakers planning a winter sun getaway will be hit by the fall in the value of sterling, new figures show.

The weaker pound means travellers will pay more for food, drinks and other tourist essentials in more than three-quarters of popular long-haul destinations, Post Office Travel Money said.

But local price falls in half of the locations surveyed will help cushion the blow.

The research found that the lowest prices for UK visitors on long-haul trips are in Tokyo, Japan; Cape Town, South Africa; and Bali, Indonesia, although prices have risen in all three since last year.

Rugby fans heading to Japan for the upcoming Rugby World Cup may be pleased to know a bottle of local lager or glass of wine in a cafe or bar in the country’s capital typically costs the equivalent of just 81p.

Prices for tourist items in Phuket, Thailand, have increased by 21% year on year, with an 8% rise in Penang, Malaysia.

UK visitors to the American cities of New York and Orlando face price hikes of 21% and 7% respectively.

Sterling has fallen in value against the US dollar by around 7% over the past 12 months.

Nick Boden, head of Post Office Travel Money, said: “The rising prices revealed by this year’s report in many destinations highlight the importance of careful planning and research.

“Even though sterling is weaker than last year against every long-haul holiday currency, holidaymakers can still save themselves a lot of money and make a big difference to the overall cost of winter sun trips by doing their holiday homework before booking to find out where meals, drinks and other staples are going to cost the least.”

Lesley Rollo, managing director of long-haul holiday firm Travelbag, said: “The average price of a holiday to the destinations featured in this report has risen by around 7% in the last year, as factors like rising oil prices and over-demand take effect.

“However, despite those rising prices and sterling’s slide, consumers still want to book.

“They’re just increasingly savvy in offsetting the cost of the holiday itself with what they’ll pay once they’re there and will prioritise destinations where they know they’ll get good value on the ground.”

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