Currency index reveals eurozone as most attractive for Brits

Currency index reveals eurozone as most attractive for Brits

British travellers to the US are likely to rein in spending but make more trips to Europe due to fluctuating exchange rates.

The value of the pound is at an 18 month high against the euro, making travel to the eurozone more attractive.

But the US dollar is offering less, reducing the spending power of UK travellers to the US.

The latest American Express currency index, which looks at the top 25 most popular currencies, shows a significant increase in the volume of euros purchased in the last quarter of 2011 compared to the same period a year earlier.

The findings are supported by the Office for National Statistics which reported a rise in the number of trips to Europe in 2011, with an estimated 43.3 million UK travellers visiting the continent.

The strength of the dollar increased against the pound in 2011 but this did not deter people from travelling to the US, with numbers up by 1% to an estimated 3.6 million.

But while the number of transatlantic trips rose, the volume of dollars purchased decreased, according to Amex.

The company’s global foreign exchange director Terry Perrin said: “In 2011, European holiday destinations became more attractive to British travellers as the pound strengthened against the euro, allowing Britons to enjoy better exchange rates and get more value for their money.

“Although the strong dollar is clearly not deterring people from visiting the US, it does appear that UK travellers are tightening their belts and reining in their spending with the dollar no longer offering the value for money that Britons have seen in previous years.

“The pound is currently at an 18 month high against the euro. If the pound continues to strengthen against the euro and decrease against the US dollar, it is likely that the trend will continue and we will see increased visits to Europe and decreased spending whilst visiting the US in 2012.”


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