UK Holidaymakers Don’t Know Their Euros From Their Dinars

LONDON, July 28/PRNewswire/ —

- Half (49%) of UK travellers fail to recognise Euro notes

- Post Office(R) predicting sales of over GBP1.5bn Euros in 2005

- Nearly a third of holidaymakers fail to check exchange rates

Despite its introduction over three years ago, UK holidaymakers are still unable to recognise the Euro, according to research released today by Post Office(R) travel services.

European travel is more popular than ever – UK travellers made over 51 million visits to Europe during 2004(1). However, in a visual recognition survey of foreign notes amongst 1,000 UK holidaymakers, nearly half (49 per cent) failed to correctly identify the Euro(2), mistaking it for a currency used in Croatia.

The Euro is the most frequently purchased foreign currency by UK holidaymakers, with the Post Office(R) predicting record sales in 2005. The Post Office(R) sold more than GBP1.3bn of Euros last year and predicts this figure will increase by 15 per cent to GBP1.5bn in 2005.

Hugh Stacey, head of travel services at the Post Office(R), said: “With Euros dominating UK foreign currency sales, we are surprised that there is such low recognition of the notes amongst UK holidaymakers.

“Before traveling to any destination we would strongly recommend that holidaymakers familiarise themselves with foreign notes and exchange rates to avoid confusion when dealing with money overseas. Being out of pocket because you don’t understand the value of your foreign currency is a sure way to spoil your holiday abroad.”

In addition to currency confusion, UK holidaymakers also fail to check exchange rates prior to purchasing foreign currency. Post Office(R) travel services research showed that 29 per cent of travellers risk losing out financially by not checking foreign currency exchange rates.

Top Five Currencies sold through Post Office(R)

1. Euro
2. US Dollar
3. Canadian Dollar
4. Cypriot Pound
5. Turkish Lira

The Post Office(R) now boasts a 25 per cent share of the GBP10 billion foreign currency market, up from 18 per cent in 2004. As the UK’s number one provider, Post Office(R) consolidated its strength in the market by expanding its Bureau network last year from 640 to 1,900 on-demand branches – offering foreign cash instantly over the counter. This means Post Office(R) is now the UK’s most convenient Bureau de Change, with more than double the bureau counters of its nearest competitor.

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