Simon Calder: We are no longer the rich men of Europe
Saturday 16 August 2008
Ask yourself this: how many French francs did you get to the pound? About 10, wasn't it? Well, British holidaymakers in France have rarely had it so bad as this summer. The rate for the franc was frozen against the euro when the single European currency entered circulation, and an easy calculation reveals that the exchange rate of €1.22 works out at just eight francs to the pound.
For anyone who still travels by air, the more recent slump against the dollar is even more worrying. The US will, of course, be more expensive. But because everything in aviation is priced in dollars, a 10 per cent slide in sterling pushes up airlines costs by about the same proportion. Prepare for more route cuts and higher fares.
The outlook for next summer could be even gloomier for the package holidaymaker. Tour operators who wisely hedged against rises in the value of the euro and the price of oil will have no such protection in 2009, pushing up holiday costs dramatically.
The silver lining for these darkening clouds is likely to be earned by the UK travel industry. This should be the best summer for years as Brits holiday at home and Europeans find us no longer an over-priced island with a lousy climate. The weather may not have changed, but we are no longer the rich men of Europe – they are.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 What are your fingerprint words?
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...
£50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Mana...
£18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...
Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...