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Weak pound forces Brits to change holiday plans

Sky News logo Sky News 16/02/2017

The fall in the pound will have an effect on where more than 40% of Britons decide to go on holiday this summer, according to a survey.

Research from travel insurance specialist Columbus Direct also shows holidaymakers will be getting less for their money as a result of the weakness in sterling.

Travellers will be out of pocket by up to £111 for every £500 they spend following the collapse in the pound after the Brexit vote last June.

Sterling dropped by nearly 20% against the dollar in the weeks following the EU referendum, and although it has recovered slightly it remains 16% lower than it was prior to the vote.

Pensioners enjoying the beach © Getty Pensioners enjoying the beach

For those heading to the US, their pockets will have been £70 lighter for every £500 worth of US dollars they exchanged on 1 February this year compared to the same date in 2016.

And travellers heading off to France or Austria for a spot of skiing will have already noticed they received €76 (£65.15) less in return for £500 than they would have previously.

Holidaymakers visiting Australia or Norway will have gotten the least bang for their buck, with £500 stretching to £111.27 less in Australian dollars and £103.13 less in Norwegian krone than it did in February last year.

Rob Thomas, head of brand at Columbus Direct, said the less favourable exchange rates would have many feeling the pinch.

"We have enjoyed a strong currency for many years so the reduced strength of the pound is going to be noticeable for holidaymakers when it doesn't go as far as it used to," he said.

But the pound fall is not bad news for all destinations; travellers heading to Japan, Mexico or Malaysia will see their £500 go further than it would have last summer.

The research also highlighted the boost the currency volatility will offer to UK tourism, with 16% of those surveyed saying they planned to have "staycation" this year rather than heading abroad.

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