Growth in Post Office currency sales 'shows underlying resilience of the overseas holiday market'

Personal finance pics
Personal finance pics

The travel bug remains strong among holidaymakers despite fluctuations in the value of the pound, currency sales figures suggest.

Post Office Travel Money, which accounts for one in four UK foreign exchange transactions, said sterling's volatility has not impacted on currency sales in the way that might be expected - indicating an underlying resilience in the overseas holiday market.

Its latest holiday index covering January to September said there has been a "healthy" year-on-year growth in sales for 60% of its best-selling currencies.

The year-on-year growth for three-fifths of its 20 best-sellers includes the euro and US dollar.

Post Office Travel Money said the most notable strides have been made by the New Zealand dollar, where sales have risen 43% compared with the same period last year.

At the same time sterling is 8.9% stronger year-on-year against the New Zealand dollar, putting more cash in tourists' pockets.

New Zealand travel stock
New Zealand travel stock

Sterling is now stronger than a year ago against three-quarters of the top 40 Post Office holiday currencies.

Andrew Brown, head of travel money at the Post Office, said: "Big increases in Post Office currency sales are an indication of the confidence felt by consumers that they can still afford to holiday abroad.

"Affordability remains the key issue for people planning trips abroad and this does not only relate to package costs.

"Holidaymakers are increasingly aware how much extra they will spend once they reach their destination so the fact that sterling has climbed back from its lowest level 12 months ago will provide a welcome confidence boost for the market."

Compared with October 2016, only 10 currencies are currently stronger against the UK currency.

The pound will buy fewer Czech koruna and Russian ruble, for example.
By contrast, sterling has made its biggest gains of 28% against the Turkish lira and 17.1% against the Japanese yen.
This means holidaymakers changing £500 will get around £110 more lira and over £73 more yen than a year ago.