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Soaring Summer Currency Sales Bring A Fine Winter Sun Forecast For Vietnam, USA and Caribbean

Press Release   •   Sep 06, 2014 14:42 BST

- Strong World Cup appeal has made the Brazilian real Post Office® Travel Money’s Fastest Growing Currency for summer 2014
- Vietnam comes of age as holiday destination: summer currency sales have quadrupled within three years
- Powerful pound drives demand for Eastern Europe: Hungarian forint registers Europe’s top summer growth while Croatian kuna is a Post Office bestseller

UK football fans’ appetite for World Cup action made the Brazilian real this summer’s Fastest Growing Currency with a 215 per cent rise in sales between June and August, compared with the same period in 2013. However, as a new school term signals a start to the winter sun holiday season, Post Office Travel Money’s Fastest Growing Currencies report reveals that Vietnam has emerged as the real success story for the third year running.

Vietnamese dong sales for June-August grew by a third compared with last summer. This made it the only currency to retain its position in the annual Fastest Growing Currencies summer top ten¹ with a rate of growth second only to the Brazilian real from over 70 offered by the Post Office, the UK’s largest provider of travel money.

Sales of the dong have now more than quadrupled in the past three years, helping the currency move into the Post Office top 30 bestsellers in 29th place and signalling Vietnam’s emergence as a major holiday destination. An eight per cent year-on-year rise in sterling’s value is likely to have been a factor but so too are competitively-priced holiday packages.

If the winter sun forecast looks good for Vietnam as the long haul holiday season gets underway, it also looks promising for the Caribbean islands, whose currencies weakened significantly against sterling during the summer. The biggest beneficiaries have been the Trinidad & Tobago dollar and Jamaican dollar, whose sales rose 21 and 19 per cent respectively to help them reach the top five Fastest Growing Currencies.

Since sterling remains almost 20 per cent stronger year-on-year against the Jamaican dollar, currency-counters may be encouraged to choose Jamaica over other Caribbean islands this autumn and winter.

The strength of sterling is also likely to have contributed to a 12 per cent rise in sales of the

USA dollar, which appears in the Post Office Travel Money Fastest Growing Currencies summer top 10 for the first time. While Florida benefited during the summer, New York may prove the destination of choice for money-saving Christmas shopping breaks.

However, while long haul destinations take six of the ten Fastest Growing Currencies places, with Mauritius completing the line up, they have not dominated the table as they have in previous years. Eastern European and Scandinavian currencies have also performed well, suggesting buoyant demand for holidays to these regions over the summer months.

Hungary has seen Europe’s biggest upturn in fortunes. With the powerful pound now worth over 12 per cent more than a year ago against the Hungarian forint, Post Office Travel Money reports a 26 per cent year-on-year rise in currency sales between June and August. This accelerated to 40 per cent in August, helping the forint reach the top 20 Post Office Bestselling currencies as well as taking third place in its summer table of Fastest Growing Currencies.

Earlier this year Budapest was rated the cheapest city break destination in Post Office Travel Money’s annual City Costs Barometer (March) and its reputation for value may have had a positive impact on demand. If so, the Hungarian capital can look forward to a buoyant autumn with the attraction of Christmas markets to stimulate visits.

Croatia has had another record year, moving back into the Fastest Growing Currencies top 10 for summer 2014 in sixth place on the back of a 13 per cent increase in sales of its currency, the kuna. This is the fourth time in five years that the kuna has featured in the chart and, since first appearing in 2009, kuna sales at the Post Office have more than trebled. As a result, the currency maintained sixth place in the summer Bestsellers top 10².

There has been no change to the 10 bestselling currencies for summer 2014 or to the bestsellers table for the year to date. The euro maintained its leading position in both tables on the back of a five per cent increase in currency sales, while the Turkish lira overtook both the Canadian and Australian dollar to take third place in the summer chart.

Scandinavia continues to attract growing numbers of UK holidaymakers during the summer months – according to the Post Office Travel Money currency sales trends. The Norwegian kroner retained its position in the summer Bestsellers top 10 while the Danish kroner and Icelandic krona both feature in the Fastest Growing Currencies lists for the summer as well as for 2014 to date.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money, said: “In a tough year for the travel industry³, it may be no coincidence that destinations which made the biggest currency sales gains during the summer – among them Jamaica, the USA and Hungary - have also seen a surge in sterling’s value. This suggests holidaymakers are becoming increasingly canny and doing their homework to see where exchange rates are favourable and living costs are low as well as looking for keenly-priced packages before booking.

“Looking ahead, sterling’s continuing strength suggests that European short breaks could be popular this autumn – particularly to cities like Budapest with a reputation for value. We also expect strong demand for great value Far East destinations like Vietnam and Thailand.

“Holidaymakers planning winter trips can monitor exchange rates at their local Post Office or online where these are better for higher value transactions and where all holiday currencies are easily available.”

30 currencies are available on demand at 1,600 larger Post Office branches, while over 10,000 offer euro over the counter and 4,000 offer US dollars and Turkish lira. More than 70 currencies can be pre-ordered at over 11,500 Post Office branches or online at postoffice.co.uk for next day branch or home delivery. Consumers can also change small amounts of cash into foreign currency in Post Office branches.

Ends

For more information, please contact:

Gabrielle O’Gara
Post Office Press Office
0207 250 2534 / 07436 034094
Gabrielle.ogara@postoffice.co.uk

Christine Ball
CBPR
01798 874177 / 07976 285997
cball@cballpr.co.uk

Notes to editors

1 Post Office Top Ten Fastest Growing Currencies for June-August 2014 and year to date (note: where currencies have the same percentage gain, the order is determined by decimal points):

Currency

Summer: June-August

2014 v. 2013

Currency

2014 to date

January-August

1. Brazilian real

+215% (-)

1. Brazilian real

+96% (-)

2. Vietnamese dong

+33% (1)

2. Vietnamese dong

+44% (1)

3. Hungarian forint

+26% (-)

3. Icelandic krona

+25% (-)

4. Trinidad & Tobago dollar

+21% (-)

4. New Zealand dollar

+20% (4)

5. Jamaican dollar

+19% (-)

5. Dominican Rep peso

+20% (2)

6. Croatian kuna

+13% (-)

6. Jamaican dollar

+19% (-)

7. US dollar

+12% (-)

7. Indonesian rupiah

+19% (-)

8. Danish kroner

+11% (-)

8. South African rand

+18% (10)

9. Mauritius rupee

+11% (-)

9. Danish kroner

+17% (-)

10. Icelandic krona

+9% (-)

10. UAE dirham

+17% (-)

Table restricted to major currencies with annual sales of over £400,000. Figures in brackets refer to 2013 placing.

2 Post Office Top Ten Best Selling Currencies for 2014 to date and summer 2014

Summer Bestsellers

June-August 2014

2014 to date

January-August

1. Euro (1)

1. Euro (1)

2. US dollar (2)

2. US dollar (2)

3. Turkish lira (4)

3. Australian dollar (3)

4. Canadian dollar (5)

4. Turkish lira (4)

5. Australian dollar (3)

5. Canadian dollar (5)

6. Croatian kuna (6)

6. Swiss franc (6)

7. Swiss franc (7)

7. Croatian kuna (7)

8. Thai baht (10)

8. New Zealand dollar (10)

9. Bulgarian lev (8)

9. UAE dirham (9)

10. Norwegian kroner (9)

10.Thai baht (8)

Figures in brackets refer to 2013 placing.

³ Source: Travel Weekly editorial and figures provided by GfK on holiday bookings

About the Post Office

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