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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | © f11photo/ Shutterstock
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | © f11photo/ Shutterstock

Are Britons Choosing Southeast Asia Over Europe?

Picture of Marissa Carruthers
Updated: 8 September 2017

As the pound continues to plunge against the Euro, Brits are looking further afield to Southeast Asia’s shores, where better bargains and winter sun awaits.

British holidaymakers seeking more bang for their buck are trading in travel to Europe for the more far-flung destinations of Vietnam, Thailand and Bali.

As the sterling continues to slump after Brexit, Britons heading to neighbouring Europe for their summer holidays are seeing hundreds of pounds slapped onto the cost of their trip.

This has led to many seeking sunshine elsewhere, with Southeast Asia – home to plenty of winter sun, beautiful beaches, rich culture and cheap accommodation, food and drink – proving popular, according to recent figures from the Post Office. The organisation’s travel money branch is reporting a surge in demand for Southeast Asian currencies.

Thailand | © saiko3p/ Shutterstock

On September 8, 2017, the pound was trading at just below €1.09. This was down from €1.30 the day before the vote in June 2016, and €1.42 in August 2015. This represents a 16% fall against the euro since the referendum. In comparison, the Vietnamese dong is down just 10%.

The Post Office’s biggest noted hike is for the Thai baht, with sales of the currency between June and August up by a staggering 69% compared with the previous year. The Vietnamese dong rose by 29%, the Indonesian rupiah by 13% and the Malaysian ringgit by seven percent.

All four countries secured spots in the top 10 of the Post Office’s table of fastest growing currencies this summer. New Zealand stole the crown, with NZ dollar sales growing by 124% – fuelled by demand to visit the country during the Lions summer rugby tour.

Sapa, North Vietnam | © Blue Planet Studio/ Shutterstock

Andrew Brown, spokesman for the Post Office’s travel money division, said: “Looking forward to the autumn and winter, there is every reason to expect that UK tourists will head east for long-haul holidays if our summer currency sales are anything to go by.

“Savvy travellers know that prices in Thailand, Bali, Vietnam and Penang are cheap, and in times when the value of sterling is uncertain, low resort costs are proving a big draw.”

It really does seem like the time is right for travellers to start planning a dose of winter sunshine in the hotter climes of Southeast Asia.

Bali | © Guitar photographer/ Shutterstock