Pound sterling slump: UK holidaymakers 'face worst tourist rate since 1986'

The slump in the value of the pound means holidays overseas will be more expensive for UK travellers

Zlata Rodionova
Monday 16 January 2017 16:41 GMT
How the FTSE and Pound have changed since Brexit

UK holidaymakers are facing the worst rates of exchange in more than three decades, according to Travelex, a top foreign exchange provider.

The pound hit new lows on Monday after reports that Prime Minister Theresa May will this week signal plans to quit the EU’s single market as a means of regaining control of Britain’s borders.

On Monday, Travelex foreign exchange stores – mainly found in major airports and popular tourist spots in big cities – were offering $1.17 for every pound, the lowest rate since 1986.

A spokesperson for Travelex told the Independent: “The fall in the pound means UK travellers won’t get as many dollars for their pounds. However, US tourists will have more money to spend if they come to the UK for work or play.”

Foreign exchanges counters, particularly in airports, are renowned for their steep rates, but the latest plunge is nonetheless troubling for Britons heading abroad in the coming weeks.

Research by The Independent on the pound over the past 15 years gives it an average value of €1.38 and $1.70. That means that against the euro, the pound is currently 17 per cent below the average. In dollar terms the pound is trading , around 30 per cent below average.

Sterling pound is currently trading at is €1.0607 and $1.2079 – that’s the rate at which banks are buying and selling the currencies to and from each other.

“Tourist rates differ from this due to the costs associated with providing foreign exchange,” Travelex said.

The pound's latest fall comes ahead of a of a key speech by Mrs May on Tuesday, in which she is expected to spell out Britain’s negotiating strategy for Brexit talks.

Many economists expect the pressure on the pound to get worse, increasing the volatility across the broader market.

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