The research found that, of the top 20 destinations visited by British travellers, those visiting Australia and Norway will lose out most in terms of holiday cash. A year ago Brits heading to Australia would have been able to exchange £500 for AU$1,014, but they will now only receive $830 in exchange, representing a reduction of £111.27.
Visitors to Norway also have less to spend on their holiday than they did 12 months ago – kr1070 (£103.13) less per £500, specifically – while those heading to the US will receive US$88 (£70.27) less in exchange for £500 this February than one year ago.
The research found that the weakened pound is having an impact on people’s travel plans, with 41 per cent of British travellers (21 million) claiming that it will affect their choice of destination and holiday style. Young people in particular (51 per cent) have said that they are making changes to their holiday plans to save costs. This is compared to 32 per cent of people aged 55 and over.
The UK’s domestic tourism industry, meanwhile, is profiting as a result of the weakened currency, with 16 per cent of people (eight million) planning to staycation rather than vacation, by spending more time in the UK. Brits are also becoming more financially cautious, with 11 per cent planning to set a holiday budget in advance, eight per cent intending to reduce the number of holidays, and seven per cent planning to travel on a self-catering basis to save money.
Rob Thomas, head of brand at Columbus Direct, said that those heading to Europe, the US and Australia in particular will feel the pinch of less favourable exchange rates. “We have enjoyed a strong currency for many years so the reduced strength of the pound is going to be noticeable for holidaymakers when it doesn’t go as far as it used to,” he warned.
He suggested ways that travellers can save money: “Setting a budget for the holiday itself and spending money while abroad can be a good way to help travellers remain within budget. Many European cities also offer well-priced visitor passes that often include transportation savings, plus discounts for museum visits and events, and these can provide good value to visitors.”
Thomas also recommended that travellers buy travel insurance as soon as they book their holiday, to ensure they are covered in case of cancellation and delays, and suggested that if they plan to travel several times a year, they consider buying an annual travel policy rather than single trip cover, as this can be cheaper.