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Weak euro means strong tourism

Attractions like the Eiffel Tower in Paris could draw even bigger crowds than normal because of the weak euro  

April 28, 2000
Web posted at: 5:31 p.m. EDT (2131 GMT)

LONDON (CNN) -- It's time to book that vacation, and Europe's beaches -- its mountains and plains, villages and cities, too -- have never looked as tempting as now.

That's because the euro's 20 percent decline means the current exchange rates are a real bargain for tourists who want to visit the 11 nations that have adopted the currency.

Travel consultants say those countries should anticipate a surge in demand for hotels and major attractions as a result.

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    "The discretionary spender, the tourist that hasn't made a decision yet on a destination to go to, I think, could be quite heavily influenced by relatively small changes in the currency," says David Bailey, of TRI Hospitality Consulting.

    Other beneficiaries of the weak currency are travelers who've already got a trip planned to areas where the euro is accepted. Their money will go further than they anticipated, analysts say.

    "They will be pleased with the prices because they are competitive," says Jackie Gibson of the Association of British Travel Agents.

    "I think they'll be most pleased, though, when ... they realize that once they're away they can live like kings and have a holiday to remember."

    Britain, which did not adopt the euro, is expect to be among tourism's losers. That country had a record 25 million overseas visitors in 1999.

    The nation's tourism authority expects that number to dip this year, but still anticipates a steady stream of vacationers drawn to new attractions such as the Millennium Dome and London Eye.


    RELATED RESOURCES:
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    RELATED STORIES:
    Poor showing at Britain's Dome on Easter weekend
    April 25, 2000
    CNN In-depth: Enter the euro
    1998

    RELATED SITES:
    Association of British Travel Agents
    TRI Hospitality Consulting
    Greenwich 2000: Millennium
    British Tourist Authority
    CDC Travelers' Health: Western Europe

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