While many commentators have called this summer the season of the staycation, new figures from the Post Office reveal that Britons have been shrugging off grim economic news and taking their holidays around the cheaper parts of the Mediterranean or going long-haul to Africa, China and Indonesia.
The Post Office has looked at levels of currency sales and found that those of Kenya, South Africa, China and Indonesia have been in high demand this summer. The Thailand Bhat has also been sought after by holidaymakers.
This unexpected takeup comes at the expense of demand for the euro and other European currencies such as the Hungarian Forint, Czech Republic Koruna and Bulgarian Lev.
Sarah Munro, Head of Travel at the Post Office, quoted by the Daily Telegraph, said: “The weakness of sales for the Eastern European currencies is part of a trend that the Post Office has been charting throughout 2009 and, in the case of Hungary and the Czech Republic, may have more to do with the weakness of the city breaks market.
“The tremendous summer increases recorded for the Turkish lira and Croatian kuna provide clear evidence that not all British holidaymakers deserted Europe or the Mediterranean for a ‘staycation’ this year.
“The revelation has been the rise of the summer long-haul holiday, with winter package holidays still keenly priced to places like Thailand, Egypt and Kenya. This augurs well for the months ahead.”