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Posted: 20 Apr 2010 | 6:00 am
Currency has been a major regional dilemma for hotels ever since the 1997 Asian financial crisis which saw many markets flock to quote rates in the then stable USD. Coming into this decade and economic recovery which then pushed many to move back into their own currency.
It's been a roller coaster ride for much of the decade, first the Euro was pegged to be the new universal standard, which never quite materialized. Mini tourism booms over the past years were created when the Korean Wan devalued against the Japanese Yen and saw a flood of travelers taking advantage of the bargains. A similar thing happened with the Aussie dollar when it declined during the global financial crises and created huge value for Asian visitors.
In Indonesia the Rupiah has moved from 10,500 up to 9,000 in a move which has tourism operators concerned. As packages are denominated in local currency the only choice they have is to raise prices to maintain operating profits.
Vietnam which has suffered hyper inflation and two major devaluation's of its currency work on primarily USD rates and has been able to mitigate currency losses though its reliance on the American currency.
While China has been in the news recently with speculation over a possible drop of the RMB peg, there continues to be heated debate over the countries longer term strategy.
Here in Thailand while the country does indeed boost considerable foreign reserves, the Thai Baht has inexplicably continued to strengthen despite fairly defined political and economic indicators over the past month.
Expect the roller coaster world of currency to continue to impact travel destination worldwide in the foreseeable future; except for those in Europe who can't currently can't see the sky from the clouds.
A column featuring environmental issues and conservation around the island. Click here for more Green Reports check out the latest story from the leading experts:
While John Hardy and his Ubud Green School and Green Village have been at the groundswell of sustainable building materials, the area has sprouted other pioneering initiatives.
While we hope for the best that Phuket's new airport expansion will have some green focus, it's encouraging to view Singapore's Changi as setting a global standard.
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