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Holiday Euro Summer 2009:
"Holiday euro" worth more in Europe, less overseas

  • Largest increase in value for holidays in Hungary and less-frequently visited European countries
  • Sweden more affordable than Austria for the first time in fifteen years
  • Asia, North America and Africa more expensive
  • Most expensive holiday destinations are Switzerland, Japan and Ireland

"Compared to last summer, European holiday destinations are more affordable this year, especially Eastern European countries such as Poland, Romania and Hungary," says Stefan Bruckbauer, deputy chief economist at Bank Austria, summarising the most recent calculation of the holiday euro. Overall, the value of the holiday euro in summer 2009 is only slightly higher than last year. "As a result of the economic crisis, some holiday destinations have experienced significant currency depreciation in recent months, in particular the United Kingdom, Hungary, Turkey and Sweden," adds Bruckbauer. This also applies to some countries that are not among the most popular destinations for Austrians such as Romania and Poland.

In Hungary, the value of the holiday euro, which came in at 160, is once again the highest among the top destinations as a result of the dramatic depreciation of the country's currency. Hungary is followed by Turkey and Croatia. "For the first time in fifteen years, Sweden will likely be somewhat more affordable than Austria this summer," continues Bruckbauer.  Among the top holiday destinations, the holiday euro has suffered its biggest loss in the US this summer, where it is worth about 10 per cent less than a year ago due to the considerable appreciation of the dollar. However, with a value of 122, travellers will still get more for their money than in Austria.

With regard to the most popular destinations, travellers will still get less for their money in Italy and particularly in Switzerland, which has again become more expensive due to appreciation over the last few weeks.

Unlike in the majority of European destinations, the depreciation of the euro against currencies in Asia and Africa has resulted in a significant decrease (8 per cent overall) in the average value of the holiday euro in overseas destinations compared to last summer. "For travellers going overseas, the value of the holiday euro is considerably lower this year; however, there are exceptions such as South America, New Zealand and Australia," says Bruckbauer. The value of the holiday euro has decreased significantly in Africa, where high inflation was also accompanied by currency appreciation. In contrast, the decrease in value in Asia came solely as a result of the exchange rate; on average, the value of the holiday euro fell by 9 per cent in the region compared to the summer of 2008. The holiday euro has again seen a particularly dramatic decrease in Japan, where, with a value of 64, travellers will only get a little over half as much for their money as in Austria.

In conclusion, the economists at Bank Austria would like to point out that these figures are average values that could differ for individual regions (such as the central region of London). The price levels refer to the average price of goods and services in the individual countries; the prices for individual products could differ substantially (especially for tourists). Therefore, the changes in value rather than the values themselves are listed for holiday destinations. Furthermore, the fact that the price levels are so much more affordable in some holiday destinations than in Austria is primarily due to the high income level in Austria. If the price level were lower in Austria, the income level would also be lower – many of us would most likely not be able to afford to go on holiday.

 charts (PDF; 52 KB)

Enquiries: Bank Austria Economics and Market Analysis
 Stefan Bruckbauer, Tel. 05 05 05 ext. 41951
 E-mail: stefan.bruckbauer@unicreditgroup.at

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