The domed ceiling at Suleymaniye Camii in Istanbul, Turkey
Sad but true, the tourist often benefits from the economic misfortunes of their destination. And although that contradiction may raise moral issues, it remains an undeniable fact that influences the choice of holiday destinations.
In Turkey, India, Indonesia (Bali), Argentina and Japan, economic problems have created opportunities for tourists. All within recent days, the Argentinian peso has fallen by 15% officially but by 50% on the back market. And because tourists are often able to obtain their local currency on the black market, the price of traveling within Argentina has fallen considerably. You can expect an upsurge in the number of Americans dancing the tango and eating the world’s most succulent steaks.
A decline almost as great has occurred on the south Pacific island of Bali, the closest thing that any of us will ever encounter to a “tropical paradise”. Hindu Bali is part of Moslem Indonesia, and the Indonesian currency has recently fallen by as much as 30% against the U.S. dollar to a rate of 11,000 Indonesian rupiah to the dollar. An island “nation” that was always cheap to begin with, has therefore become cheaper still. If you have never been to this unique location, you should consider going now.
Then, too, the Turkish lira has fallen by as much as 15% against the U.S. dollar. And although its government is taking strong measures to arrest that decline (and may eventually succeed in doing so), it is nevertheless clear that the cost of living in Turkey will remain moderate for some time for American tourists.
(Though there is political discord in that nation, it has not yet reached a level that would threaten the safety of visitors. Turkey is a fascinating nation which almost always provides a rewarding vacation.)
Other declines in currency are of longer duration. For some time, the Japanese Yen has sold at a debased rate of 104 yen to the dollar--as much as 30% less than years ago. As a result, once-expensive Japan has become a bit more moderate in price, and supplies real value to the careful visitor.
Finally, the always-inexpensive nation of India has witnessed a major decline in the value of its currency, the rupee, to a rate of 62 to the dollar. Male tourists, and tourists traveling in groups, will find it quite agreeable, but female tourists traveling alone, or with a single female companion, are justifiably worried about a recent surge in attacks against women, which has had a major negative effect on tourism to India. Here, questions of cost take second place to questions of safety.
Elsewhere, a noticeable softening in the values of several currencies against the U.S. dollar will make foreign travel attractive to persons paying close attention to that development.
Photo credit: mossaiq