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22.12.2014

Holiday€uro Winter 2014/2015:
In winter 2014, the "Holiday€uro" is worth more in Europe but much less in overseas destinations

  • Given higher inflation in Austria, the Holiday€uro is worth more in Europe
  • In overseas countries it is worth almost 10 per cent less in view of the weak euro
  • Hungary and Croatia still lead the top holiday destinations
  • The Holiday€uro is still worth more in the US, while in the UK its value is the same as in Austria
  • Switzerland remains the most expensive holiday destination

For Austrians, the value of the Holiday€uro does not show a uniform trend in winter 2014. "In average terms, the Holiday€uro is worth a little more in winter 2014 compared with its value one year ago, as Austria has a high inflation rate" says Stefan Bruckbauer, chief economist of Bank Austria, commenting on the most recent calculations of the Holiday€uro, and adds "This winter, the Holiday€uro is worth about 10 per cent less in overseas destinations." Two different trends are discernible among the most popular holiday destinations in winter 2014: In average terms, the Holiday€uro is probably worth more in the euro area countries based on a comparison with Austria – a development explained by Austria’s higher inflation rate. But it is worth less in countries which do not have the euro, as the euro has depreciated substantially. Summarising the situation in winter 2014, Stefan Bruckbauer says "In many euro area countries, the Holiday€uro has benefited from the fact that these have a lower inflation rate than Austria, in the non-euro area countries the Holiday€uro was impacted by the depreciation of the euro".

Among the top holiday destinations for Austrians, Croatia and Hungary currently offer Austrian tourists the most value for their Holiday€uros. Travellers will also get considerably more for their Holiday€uros than in Austria in Turkey, Portugal, Greece, Slovenia and Spain. "Despite a weaker euro, Austrians spending their winter holiday in the US can expect the Holiday€uro to give them a somewhat stronger purchasing power than at home, even if this is about 10 per cent less than in 2013" says Bruckbauer. Compared to Austria, the Holiday€uro is also worth much more in many countries in Eastern and South Eastern Europe, especially in Romania, Poland and Bulgaria. "In Greece, the Holiday€uro will this winter again be worth somewhat more than a year ago due to the country's stagnating prices" Bruckbauer maintains.

For the purpose of comparing the value of the Holiday€uro, the slightly higher inflation rate in overseas countries compared with Austria is immaterial; it is exchange rate trends which make the difference. "The depreciation of the euro in 2014 resulted in a significant reduction in the value of the Holiday€uro for Austrian tourists in overseas countries. This year they get about 10 per cent less than a year ago" says Bruckbauer. The value of the Holiday€uro fell considerably above all in Asia and Africa, while the impact of the weaker euro was less pronounced in South and Central America because the currencies of these countries have also depreciated. In countries like Mexico, Brazil or the Dominican Republic the value differential is only around 2 per cent in average terms. Any Austrian spending his winter holiday in the UK will this year discover that the Holiday€uro there is more or less the same as in Austria; a year ago it was still worth 6 per cent more than at home. "The cost of a winter holiday in London is about the same as in Austria" says Bruckbauer. The same applies to a holiday in Canada.

Holidaying in Switzerland, where 100 Holiday€uros are worth only 72 euros, remains an expensive experience, with deflation unable to offset a strong Swiss franc. Germany and Spain, where the Holiday€uro is worth somewhat more, offer an alternative option to a winter holiday in Switzerland, but also in Austria, although the difference may be barely discernible and insufficient to warrant the longer journey. The Holiday€uro is worth considerably less in Ireland and Sweden than 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). Price levels refer to the average price of goods and services in the individual countries; 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 price levels are so much more affordable in some holiday destinations than in Austria is primarily due to the high income levels in Austria. If price levels were lower in Austria, income levels would also be lower and holidays would be much less affordable.

 tables (PDF; 344 KB)

Enquiries:
Bank Austria Economics and Market Analysis Austria
Stefan Bruckbauer, tel. +43 (0) 50505 - 41951
e-mail: stefan.bruckbauer@unicreditgroup.at

Bank Austria Media Relations Austria
Matthias Raftl, tel. +43 (0) 50505 - 52809
e-mail: matthias.raftl@unicreditgroup.at