Long haul holidays sweep currency chart

Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
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Increasing numbers of people from Yorkshire appear to be jetting off to the other side of the world after New Zealand, Japan and Australia topped a table of the fastest growing currency sales in the UK this summer.

Travellers heading to all three long-haul destinations have benefited from sterling’s surge in value this year and yesterday a spokeswoman for the Post Office, which has released the figures, said there had been a hike in Britons heading to the far-flung countries and the nationwide picture was reflected in Yorkshire with the three currencies also the fastest growing in the region.

Figures from the Post Office showed a 56 per cent nationwide increase in demand for the New Zealand dollar from June to August, compared to the same period last year.

Sales of the Japanese yen - which has struggled against sterling all year - rose by 52 per cent this summer.

The Australian dollar has weakened by more than 20 per cent in recent months, and consumers appear to have responded as its popularity increased by 39 per cent.

Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, said: “The surge in sales we have seen for the Australian and New Zealand dollars is a clear indication holidaymakers are becoming increasingly astute and doing their homework to see when exchange rates are in their favour.

“These may not be the cheapest places to visit but they are among the world’s most aspirational destinations and the power of the pound provides a great incentive to make this the year to visit.

“Over the past five years, sterling has strengthened by almost 50% against the yen and the extra cash in tourists’ pockets means that Japan should no longer be regarded only as a luxury destination.

“Better still, our latest barometer research reveals that local prices in Tokyo are down 25% as well.”

Long haul destinations continue to dominate the fastest growing currencies summer chart taking eight of the top 10 places, with sales rising by almost a third for the fifth-placed Indonesian rupiah. While in Europe, the Post Office says city break destinations like the Czech Republic, Hungary and Russia appear to have attracted more visitors, with the Euro being the best selling currency during the summer.

New statistics unveiled yesterday revealed August was the busiest ever month for three of Britain’s major airports with Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester all reporting record-breaking passenger numbers. Manchester Airport recorded 2.6m travellers last month, making it the busiest in the airport’s 77-year history.