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 'Cheeky' Nando's under fire for apparently coming onto a customer on Twitter
- 2 Playboy model April Summers speaks out about being a victim of revenge porn
- 3 There is something wrong but very right about this Bible illustration
- 4 iPhone 'effective power' text: how to be safe from iOS bug that lets people crash your phone
- 5 Man jumps into bear pen at zoo, fights bear and loses
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...
£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...
£23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...
£32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...