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Monday, March 3, 2014

Expedia Foreign Exchange Index points Aussie travellers to Asia in 2014

Tokyo ladies go shopping (R Eime)
  • Best time to travel to Japan is now – Aussie dollar stretches further than in any other country
  • Savvy travellers reap rewards as dollar value decreases
  • Asian countries dominate top five best-value destinations
For the second consecutive year, Australian travellers are finding the best value for money in Japan, according to the 2014 Expedia Foreign Exchange Index.

Despite the Australian dollar recently falling to a three and a half year low[1] against the US dollar, its value increased by 2.3 per cent in 2013 against the Japanese yen, cementing Japan as the must-visit destination for travellers looking to get value for money in a traditionally pricey destination.

Interest in Japanese regions like Okinawa and Hokkaido grew by 50% in 2013, signalling savvy Australian travellers are already taking advantage of the favourable exchange rate to tick Japan off their bucket list.

Now in its fifth year, the Expedia Foreign Exchange Index measures the performance of the Australian dollar against major global currencies, taking into account foreign exchange rates and inflation.

After a boom period for the Australian dollar, which left Australians travellers spoilt for choice, this year’s Index reveals that the dollar lost ground against multiple currencies, with 13 of the 15 top destinations for Australian travellers experiencing a decrease in currency value in 2013. The Australian dollar declined 15 per cent against the US dollar and 17 per cent against the British pound.

Top destinations based on the purchasing power of the Australian dollar against other major currencies in 2013*:

* Countries ranked in terms of value against the Australian dollar taking both foreign exchange rates and inflation into account as at 31 December 2013, compared to rates one year prior. Percentages calculated using fx rate movements.

Georg Ruebensal, Managing Director Expedia Australia and New Zealand, says: “The decline in the Australian dollar is not deterring Australians from travelling overseas, however, Aussies need to be smart as their purchasing power is impacted. There are still plenty of places both close to home and further afield that provide great value. While it’s great to see Japan is still offering the best value for money, it’s exciting to see other destinations like Indonesia, Brazil and Canada becoming more affordable.

“In addition to keeping a close eye on exchange rates, hunting for deals, being flexible with dates and bundling hotels and flights to benefit from additional discounts are also great ways to stretch the travel budget further.

“Interestingly, savvy Australians are already choosing holiday destinations where they have purchase power – consciously or not – with Lombok, Indonesia, Hokkaido, Japan and Kamloops, Canada, among Expedia’s fastest growing markets in 2013[2] and expected to remain popular throughout the year.”

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The Expeditionist

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