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Winter sunshine breaks look full of Eastern Promise

Press Release   •   Sep 05, 2017 11:52 BST

Winter sunshine breaks look full of Eastern Promise

Post Office Fastest Growing Currencies reportreveals appetite for Far East travel

  • 69 per cent summer sales surge for Thai baht signals winter sun success for Thailand
  • Boom in currency demand for Vietnam, Bali and Malaysia as well
  • New Zealand dollar is the Fastest Growing Currency as Lions Tour boosts demand
  • Croatia is the big winner in Europe – summer sales for kuna rise by a third

As the new term marks the end of the summer holidays, the winter sun forecast looks bright for a quartet of Far Eastern destinations, which have emerged as the biggest success story in Post Office Travel Money’s Fastest Growing Currencies report for June-August¹.

Booming currency demand for Thailand, Vietnam, Bali and Malaysia helped the Far East destinations fill four of the top 10 growth slots in Post Office Travel Money’s report on summer sales compared with June-August 2016.That success is part of a bigger growth trend in the year to date, when compared with the first eight months of 2016, and gives good grounds to predict that UK visitors will be heading east for winter sun in the coming months.

The biggest surge in demand has been for the Thai baht. The annual review of summer bestsellers by the UK’s biggest foreign currency provider reports year-on-year sales growth of 69 per cent for the Thai baht between June and August as well as a year-on-year increase of almost a third (31 per cent) for the first eight months of 2017.

Elsewhere in the Far East there has also been a significant rise in currency demand compared with a year ago.Post Office sales of the Vietnamese dong surged 29 per cent for June-August and rose 28 per cent in 2017 to date, while the Indonesian rupiah made summer gains of 13 per cent, which contributed to a 40 per cent rise in 2017 to date.Demand for the Malaysian ringgit rose seven per cent during the summer and 18 per cent for January-August.

But none of the Far Eastern currencies was able to match the performance of the New Zealand dollar. Fuelled by strong demand for visits to New Zealand during the Lions summer rugby tour, NZ dollar sales rose 124 per cent year-on-year between June and August.Not only did this make the New Zealand dollar the Post Office Travel Money’s Fastest Growing Currency during the summer months but also for the year to date (overall sales +45 per cent).

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money, said: “While the exodus of sports fans to destinations staging big tournaments is now well established, the devotion shown by rugby enthusiasts for the Lions summer tour of New Zealand has been impressive. In June we saw a 266 per cent rise in New Zealand dollar sales, indicating that significant numbers of rugby fans were following the team down under. Interestingly, sales have remained very healthy over the past month, suggesting New Zealand will be popular with UK visitors this winter.

“Looking forward to the autumn and winter, there is every reason to expect that UK tourists will head east for long haul holidays if our summer currency sales are anything to go by.Savvy travellers know that prices in Thailand, Bali, Vietnam and Penang are cheap and in times when the value of sterling is uncertain, low resort costs are proving a big draw.”

In fact, long haul destinations dominate the Fastest Growing Currencies summer chart, taking eight of the top 10 places.Among the other top 10 destinations whose currencies have seen a growth spurt are Canada (8th), where an eight per cent rise in Canadian dollar sales can be laid at the door of the country’s 150th anniversary celebrations, and Dubai (6th), where an 11 per cent rise means summer sales of the UAE dirham have more than doubled in five years.

In Europe Croatia proved to be the year’s big winner in another record year for the destination.Post Office currency sales grew by a third to take the Croatian kuna to third place in both the summer list of Fastest Growing Currencies and in the overall table for 2017. Over the past five years kuna sales have more than doubled, which means that Croatia has now reached its highest position of 4th in the Post Office Bestselling Currencies top 10 for June-August behind the euro, US dollar and Canadian dollar2.

The Polish zloty is the only other European currency to feature in both the Fastest Growing Currencies summer and year-to-date top ten charts - with an 11 per cent year-on-year sales rise for June-August (7th) and a 16 per cent increase for 2017 as a whole (10th). Warsaw recently rated second only to Prague for value in the Post Office’s annual Cost of Culture report while Krakow was sixth cheapest in the City Costs Barometer of 36 European cities earlier in the year.These ratings are likely to have boosted tourist demand for both cities and help to explain the ongoing rise in sales for their currencies.

Andrew Brown said: “This year’s currency sales have made it clear that holidaymakers are choosing destinations abroad where prices for tourist staples are low. Autumn is peak season for city breaks and we expect Poland’s cities to be among a number of Eastern European capitals that will appeal to UK tourists who have done their homework in advance and are planning weekend breaks in low cost destinations.”

30 leading holiday currencies are available on demand at 1,600 larger Post Office branches, while over 10,000 offer euros over the counter and 4,000 offer US dollars. Up to 80 currencies can be pre-ordered at over 11,600 Post Office branches or online at postoffice.co.uk for next day branch or home delivery.Winter sun holidaymakers can also carry up to 13 currencies on the Post Office Travel Money Card, a chip and PIN-enabled MasterCard accepted in millions of locations worldwide.

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

Joanne Leahy Post Office Press Office07791 894469

Joanne.Leahy@postoffice.co.uk

Christine BallCBPR01798 874177 / 07976 285997cball@cballpr.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

1 Post Office Top Ten Fastest Growing Currencies for June-August 2017 and year to date (note: where currencies have the same percentage gain, the order is determined by decimal points):

Summer Fastest Growing CurrenciesJun–Aug2017 v. 2016Fastest Growing Currencies 2017 to dateJan–Aug2017 v. 2016
1.New Zealand dollar+124% (-)1.New Zealand dollar+45% (-)
2.Thai baht+69% (-)2.Indonesian rupiah +40% (1)
3.Croatian kuna+33% (-)3.Croatian kuna+38% (-)
4.Vietnamese dong +29% (-)4.Omani real+32% (-)
5.Indonesian rupiah+13% (4)5.Thai baht+31% (-)
6.UAE dirham +11% (-)6.Vietnamese dong+28% (-)
7.Polish zloty+11% (8)7.Malaysian ringgit+18% (-)
8.Canadian dollar+8% (-)8.Kenyan shilling+18% (-)
9.Malaysian ringgit+7% (-)9.Chilean peso+18% (5)
10.Kenyan shilling+3% (-)10.Polish zloty +16% (8)

Table restricted to major currencies with annual sales of over £400,000. Figures in brackets refer to 2016 placing.2 Post Office Top Ten Best Selling Currencies for 2017 to date and summer 2017

Summer Bestsellers

June–August 2017

Bestsellers 2017 to dateJanuary–August
1.Euro (1)1.Euro (1)
2.US dollar (2)2.US dollar (2)
3.Canadian dollar (3)3.Australian dollar (3)
4.Croatian kuna (5)4.Canadian dollar (4)
5.Australian dollar (4)5.Croatian kuna (5)
6.Turkish lira (6)6.New Zealand dollar (9)
7.Thai baht (8)7.Thai baht (10)
8.Swiss franc (7)8.UAE dirham (8)
9.New Zealand dollar (-)9.Turkish lira (7)
10.UAE dirham (10)10.Swiss franc (6)

Figures in brackets refer to 2016placing.

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