Surging Australian dollar offers Aussie travellers a great reason to head overseas

On July 14, 2008 at 10:00 AM

 Annual Expedia Foreign Exchange Index reveals the top destinations where the Australian Dollar goes furthest

South Africa, Vietnam and South Korea have topped the list of countries whose currencies offer the best value against the strong Australian Dollar, measured over the past year.

Expedia.com.au™, subsidiary of Expedia, Inc., the world’s leading online travel company, in conjunction with foreign exchange specialist HiFX, has produced the second annual list of top ten destinations where the Australian Dollar (AUD) has strengthened most over the past 12 months.

The Expedia Foreign Exchange Index shows that compared to a year ago, the Australian Dollar is now 28% stronger against the South Korean Won, almost 26% stronger against the South African Rand and more than 17% stronger against the Vietnamese Dong.

According to Arthur Hoffman, Managing Director Expedia Asia Pacific, with the AUD having reached a 25-year high against the US Dollar recently, and having performed even more strongly against a number of other foreign currencies over the past year, there has never been a better time for Australians to travel abroad.

“What is especially encouraging is that destinations once considered too expensive for Australian pockets have now become considerably more affordable thanks to the Australian Dollar’s surge,” he said. Mr Hoffman said that since July 2007, the American Dollar and the British Pound were now almost 13% and 14% weaker respectively compared to the AUD a year ago, while the Australian Dollar is now also almost 20% stronger against the British Pound than two years ago.

“The bottom line to all this is that the strong Australian Dollar allows holiday funds to be stretched significantly further than a year or two ago. This means that many destinations are not only now more affordable, but the extra money in your pocket means you can afford to splurge a little on certain travel items like accommodation, airline class or car rental category,” he said.

The Expedia Foreign Exchange Index found that the Australian Dollar climbed more than 40% against the South African Rand over the past two years, making it one of the most significant currency exchange increases for the AUD in this period.

Bangu Masisi, General Manager Australasia for South African Tourism, says, “While Australians have always enjoyed South Africa’s diverse experiences of wildlife, adventure, scenic beauty, beaches, mountains and culture, there has never been a better time for Australians to take advantage of their strong Dollar to enjoy South Africa’s dazzling range of luxury game lodges, stunning designer hotels and top-quality restaurants,” she said.

Closer to home, Australians now have even more of an opportunity for a short break across the ditch, with the AUD around 14% stronger against the New Zealand Dollar. A little further afield, but also ideal for shorter breaks is Bali, where the AUD will give Australians around 11% better value against the Indonesian Rupiah.  

Below are the Top 10 Destinations where the Australian Dollar has performed best over the past year:

 

 

Rank

Currency

AUD Percentage Gain

 

1

South Korean Won

27.90

 

2

South African Rand

26.00

 

3

Vietnamese Dong

17.39

 

4

New ZealandDollar

14.14

 

5

British Pound

13.95

 

6

US Dollar

12.84

 

7

Chinese Yuan

12.04

 

8

Chilean Peso

11.90

 

9

Indonesian Rupiah

11.13

 

10

Argentine Peso

9.90

 

Source: HiFX (www.hifx.com.au)

Expedia.com.au top tips to help you get even more from your Australian Dollar:

  1. Typically you get more for your dollar if you buy the local currency once you have arrived at your destination
  2. Don’t exchange your money for the local currency at the first available exchange as you arrive at the destination - shop around to get the best rate
  3. Make the most of local cuisine as it will be better value and more likely to be better quality than trying to eat “Aussie” style food abroad
  4. Take advantage of what the locality has to offer e.g.:
    • South Africa– luxury resorts and Safari lodges
    • Vietnam– made to measure tailoring
    • Britain– fantastic bargains to be had in the summer sales
  5. Book your accommodation and activities in advance to benefit from the current favourable exchange rates, which can fluctuate unexpectedly  

For excellent package deals to any of these destinations, log onto: www.expedia.com.au

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