Dollar dazzler travel

Harvey World Travel agent Kim Tracey says the high Aussie dollar has prompted a spike in overseas travel for locals.

OVERSEAS travel has become the holiday of choice for Camperdown locals, thanks to the climbing value of the Australian dollar.
Harvey World Travel agent Kim Tracey said 80 per cent of her clients were now travelling overseas, compared to just 30 per cent at the same time last year.
“Europe coach tours are well up on last year’s figures and we’re seeing an increase in the number of locals heading to Malaysia,” she said.
“But really, it’s cheaper to go anywhere in the world at the moment – not just America.”
Ms Tracey said the US dollar was the base currency used to calculate all travel packages across the globe.
“Everything is worked out in American dollars, even in Europe,” she said.
“Airfares, hotel rooms, coaches, everything.
“And because negotiations are now under way for next season’s brochure packages – the drop in the US dollar has come at the perfect time for travellers.
“Everything will be cheaper and those savings will be passed on to the consumer.”
Ms Tracey said a lift in consumer confidence combined with the stronger Australian dollar had prompted locals to travel further afield.
“Because of the drought in recent years, consumer confidence was low and people were putting off their trips,” she said.
“It may have been three, four or even five years since some locals have taken a holiday.
“But we’re coming out of that now and the stronger dollar is an added bonus.
“Not only are people buying their trips cheaper, they’re getting more value for their dollar once they arrive.”
‘Early Bird’ customers have already benefited from the falling US dollar – an Emirates Early Bird fare to Europe is now selling for $1700 compared to the previous price of $2200.
“Because of the savings a lot of tour companies have recorded a 70 per cent increase in their sales and have already added extra departure dates,” Ms Tracey said.
“With that in mind, people looking to take advantage of the strong Aussie dollar and book in a package tour, need to do so fairly quickly as they’re filling up fast.
“But to really take advantage of the Early Bird offers, people need to book their holidays at least six months ahead, even up to 12 months.
“There’s no doubt about it, it’s a good time to travel.”

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