My October Travel Money update continues to reflect the ongoing travel market challenges related to Covid-19 and the impact on people travelling throughout September.
As I write this update, we currently have six destination areas without travel restrictions: Greece, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Gibraltar and San Marino. As this list is being continuously updated by the government I apologise if the information has changed by the time you read this.
On the competitor front, we have seen Thomas Cook return as an online business (and you may have seen its online message claiming its rates are better than Post Office’s - this is currently being challenged). No1 Currency and Thomas Exchange were put into administration by their owner Fexco (although we have seen one or two branches return to trade) and a number of supermarket stores have replaced their Bureau operations in store with different product offerings.
We have also seen the government announce its participation in CommonPass, which is due to be tested in the UK during October/November. This is an initiative to support international travel by providing a standard model for people to securely record and present their Covid-19 status and is being supported by 37 countries. Alongside this, the government is also looking to launch a global travel taskforce whose aim is to open up international travel – hopefully both of these initiatives will help drive our Travel Money sales.
Our own business performance in September continued to decline against last year’s sales and we are also seeing that trend across the first couple of weeks of October. Based on this trend and the ongoing government restrictions, we will be limiting our marketing investment over the coming months, and we will look to next year’s Easter period as our upcoming focus for our marketing initiatives. The current business performance also means there is no change yet for the branches where we have temporarily paused some Travel Money services – we will continue to keep you updated.
If you do have customers purchasing travel money at the moment, please remember to ask them to vote for us in the Best Travel Money Retailer category of the British Travel Awards – the voting is now open and runs until 22 November.