- Sales of the Euro were down 6% in 2018, while sales of currency for further afield locations like Egypt, Morocco and Hong Kong soared
- Consumer travel trends within Europe are also changing, with consumers favouring affordable destinations like Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria over more expensive alternatives
New sales data released by International Currency Exchange (ICE)* reveals that British holidaymakers are moving away from traditional European destinations in favour of more far flung locations like Egypt and Morocco.
The Rise of Alternative Travel Destinations
ICE, the currency exchange specialist, analysed its sales data from 2018 and found that sales of the Euro declined 6% on the previous year. In contrast, demand for Egyptian Pounds soared by 5896%, while the Moroccan Dirham rose by 42% and the Hong Kong Dollar by 27%. Sales of Chinese Yuan, Canadian Dollars, Australian Dollars, and Japanese Yen also saw significant increases, suggesting a move away from European travel.
Within Europe, demand for Turkish Lira saw a rise of 43%, as the currency slumped to a record low against the Pound. Romania, Bulgaria and Poland were also popular travel destinations in 2018, with sales of the Romanian Leu up 13%, the Bulgarian Lev up 11%, and the Poland Zloty up 4%.
Purchase of currency for Scandinavian countries, conventionally perceived to be more expensive, all saw decreases in 2018, with the Danish Krone down 28%, the Sweden Krone down 18% and the Swiss Franc down 6%.
Louis Bridger, General Manager at ICE, commented:
“With Brexit looming, we are seeing more and more consumers looking for travel destinations outside of the Eurozone. Political uncertainty is also incentivising British holidaymakers to be savvier about how they spend, with affordable destinations like Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria becoming increasingly popular.
In Turkey, for example, visitors continue to enjoy outstanding value for money, whereas destinations like Denmark are less friendly on the wallet. A meal in an inexpensive restaurant in Istanbul will cost a tourist an average of £3.63, compared to a staggering £14.41 in Copenhagen. Given the political instabilities of 2018, it’s unsurprising that Brits have been opting for more affordable travel options.
We expect these trends to continue well into 2019, as British holidaymakers look to get the best value for money.”
*ICE analysed sales data from its UK retail network, comparing figures from 2017 and 2018.