Pound exchange rate: The countries where British sterling is up on last year – The Independent

A turbulent political landscape means the pound has had a rocky time of it over the last 12 months. Brexit took its toll, with sterling plummeting from £1 to €1.3 to £1 to €1.16 overnight in the wake of the decision. The exchange rate has fluctuated many times since then, but it’s never recovered to the heady heights of pre-EU referendum rates, and at the time of writing is lagging at an underwhelming £1 to €1.13.

However, the euro isn’t the only currency in town – far from it.

“The last 12 months have been a turbulent one for sterling, as it reacted to political and economic events,” said FairFX CEO Ian Strafford-Taylor.

“However, holidaymakers who are savvy about the news agenda will be able to get more for their money by staying alert and monitoring exchange rates to lock in the best deal. Planning ahead is key to helping the pound go as far as possible.”

If you’re after more bang for your buck on the next city break, ski trip or beach holiday, there are currently 35 currencies that the pound has gone up against compared to this time last year. Here are five of the most exciting holiday destinations where sterling has skyrocketed.

Currency information provided by travel money and international payment services provider FairFX.


Sterling is up 24 per cent against the Argentine peso compared to November 2016. For £1,000 you get ARS23,191 – the equivalent to £196 more than you would have got a year ago. Head to the country’s coastal capital city Buenos Aires and soak up a passionate foodie culture, exquisite French and Italian-style architecture and – of course – non-stop tango.


Up 15 per cent against the yen, £1,000 will get you ¥150,255, £130 more than last year. Osaka, Japan’s second city, is currently enjoying a moment in the spotlight with tourism up 31 per cent between 2015 and 2016. The recent opening of Festival Tower West in Osaka’s Nakanoshima district has lent the sandbank sandwiched between the city’s business districts a buzzy feel. And its newest hotel opening, the Conrad Osaka, which crowns the top floors of the West Tower, has done nothing to dent its cool appeal.

New Zealand

The Land of Lord of the Rings is offering better value than last year, with the pound up 11 per cent against the NZ dollar. This improved rate equates to £101 more per £1,000. Thriving Wellington is a perfect city to escape to during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter. January features international cricket, while 6 February is Waitangi Day – which commemorates the ratification of the Waitangi Treaty, which enshrined citizenship rights for Maori people. And until 2018 the acclaimed Gallipoli – The Scale of Our War exhibition at the Te Papa Museum looks in detail at the Anzac’s role in this bloody First World War battle.

South Africa

The South African Rand has also dropped 11 per cent against sterling. Now is a great time to go to Cape Town, which, with opening of the 100,000-square-foot Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art in September, has become the artistic hub of South Africa.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has emerged as a seriously hot (in both senses) holiday destination over the last few years, with an upsurge in chic boutique hotels, white-sand beaches and lush tea trails. And the good news is that the pound is performing considerably better than this time in 2016, up 9 per cent against the Sri Lankan rupee.

Here are 30 more countries where the pound is up since last year:

Turkey (Turkish lira): Up 27 per cent

Venezuela (Venezuelan bolivar): Up 17 per cent

Iran (Iranian rial): Up 16 per cent

Ukraine (Ukrainian hryvnia): Up 10 per cent

Indonesia (Indonesian rupiah): Up 8 per cent

Tanzania (Tanzanian shilling): Up 8 per cent

Kenya (Kenyan shilling): Up 7 per cent

Colombia (Colombian peso): Up 7 per cent

Brazil (Brazilian real): Up 7 per cent

Switzerland (Swiss franc): Up 7 per cent

Zambia (Zambian kwacha): Up 7 per cent

Seychelles (Seychellois rupee): Up 7 per cent

Egypt (Egyptian pound): Up 6 per cent

Hong Kong (Hong Kong dollar): Up 6 per cent

Australia (Australian dollar): Up 6 per cent

USA (US dollar): Up 5 per cent

UAE (Emirati dirham): Up 5 per cent

Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabian riyal): Up 5 per cent

Malaysia (Malaysian ringgit): Up 5 per cent

Mauritania (Mauritanian ouguiya): Up 4 per cent

Norway (Norwegian krone): Up 4 per cent

Jamaica (Jamaican dollar): Up 3 per cent

China (Chinese yuan renminbi): Up 3 per cent

India (Indian rupee): Up 3 per cent

Singapore (Singapore dollar): Up 3 per cent

Chile (Chilean peso): Up 3 per cent

Mexico (Mexican peso): Up 2 per cent

Morocco (Moroccan dirham): Up 2 per cent

Hungary (Hungarian forint): Up 2 per cent

Mauritius (Mauritian rupee) Up 1 per cent


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