By Daniel Hunter
As the world descends on London for the Olympic Games an estimated £700 million could be transferred into UK pounds by visitors from overseas, according to currency brokers World First.
Everyone from tourists to the athletes themselves will require UK currency to get them through their few weeks in the country, and currency companies are set for a busy period trying to manage the demand for sterling during this period.
Visitors from certain parts of the world will see their money go a lot further than might have been the case had the games been put on a year ago, whilst others will have the opposite experience.
For example, people from Eurozone countries will be adversely affected by the falling value of the beleaguered euro, which has tumbled to 4 year lows against the pound this summer.
Whereas €1000 would have bought you around £876 this time last year, that same amount has fallen to around £780 at today’s GBP EUR exchange rate. That’s nearly £100 less.
Meanwhile US visitors will be slightly better off this year, with $1000 buying you around £642 at the present GBP USD exchange rate, versus just £615 this time last year. That’ll get our American friends an extra few portions of Fish and Chips when they’re in town.
“Obviously August is always a busy period for tourism in Britain," Jeremy Cook, chief economist at World First, said.
"However, with the 2012 Games putting London and the rest of the country firmly in the spotlight, the number of visitors this year is set to increase dramatically - meaning an amplified demand for our currency.”
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