January 6th, 2009
Each Christmas our family jet off to Costa Caleta in northern Fuerteventura to celebrate the festive season, this year may have to be our last year in doing so. There is nothing wrong with the place, or the people either – everything is just the way we know and love – except for one thing… the price of the holiday.
I would have thought that is such difficult economic times, when everyone is trying to save money, tour operators would really be pushing to sell holidays, enticing and encouraging people with lowered prices, but, unfortunately, in reality that just isn’t the case. In the end, we paid almost 15% more this year for our usual holiday compared to last year. I just wish my wages had done the same! Travel agents informed me that prices had been raised as a result of major tour operators like XL collapsing… They explained that holiday demand had remained similar to before the collapses, but the supply (no of available flight seats, etc.) had understandably fallen as there are now less tour operators supplying holidays and flights, thus creating a window for raised prices, due to customer competition. Not great news.
Not only were we stung by the initial holiday price, but we also had to brace ourselves for the damage the pound’s poor rate against the euro was to cause to our wallets this year, more so than any other year we’ve been. The exchange rate is pretty even this year, almost a Euro for a pound, approximately a third less Euros for our money than this time last year. Since the Euro took over from the peseta, the exchange rate has been steady, and bearable – yet this year it really was unbearable. Not only is everything far less affordable in resort, but you have to feel sorry for the bar and restaurant owners etc. who can’t control the economic climate and who are starting to struggle more and more to survive as they start to lose their British custom. All in all times have become expensive and difficult for everyone concerned in Fuerteventura – maybe next year we’ll unfortunately have to consider chasing the sun elsewhere…
By Brian Montfort