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Press Room

Czech Republic Tops The List of New Holiday Hot Spots
(08 December 2003)

Spain may have just pipped France as the most popular holiday destination for British holidaymakers, but the Czech Republic tops a new group of countries that are the fastest growing holiday hot spots, according to NatWest Travel Services.

NatWest has looked at the amount of currency ordered at its branches during 2003 and drawn up a list of 'rising stars' once the euro and dollar have been excluded. The currencies that have seen the most growth are:

1. Czech Koruna (up 27%)
2. Barbados Dollar (up 14%)
3. United Arab Emirates Dirham (up 10%)
4. Maltese Lira (up 8%)
5. Swedish Krona (up 5%)

Robin Cockburn, Head of NatWest Travel Services, said: "Traditional West European destinations are still very popular with holidaymakers and this year Spain has moved ahead of France for the first time. But there is growing interest in destinations further afield ranging from the Czech Republic to Barbados and the United Arab Emirates - and this in a year when the international scene has shown a significant reduction in global holiday travel.

"However, if travellers are looking for relative value for money the picture may be different. We have looked at popular currencies that have declined against sterling since the beginning of the year and Jamaica shows the biggest change (26%), followed by Mexico (13%) and Poland (9%)."

Notes to editors:

  • Whatever the destination, NatWest staff are more than happy to advise on the correct currency and can also take care of all financial and travel insurance needs. Our aim is to ensure travellers can enjoy themselves wherever they choose to go in the knowledge that everything is taken care of.
  • To order foreign currency or travellers cheques at NatWest, you don't need to hold an account and can find out what currency you need and order it from any branch. NatWest Advantage Gold and Premier customers can obtain their currency commission-free.
  • Branches with a Bureau de Change can immediately supply American Express travellers cheques in sterling, US dollar and euro along with most major currency notes.
  • If what you require is not available straightaway and you place your order on a weekday before 2 pm, you can collect your order on the next working day from any NatWest branch. (Orders placed on a Saturday will be ready for collection the following Tuesday.)
  • Those ordering NatWest American Express travellers cheques also have the added peace of mind of a free 24-hour, 365 day a year refund service should they lose or have their cheques stolen.