- According to British currency exchangers, Egypt now heads the list of the fastest growing holiday hot spots for 2004. The Gambia, on the other hand, is the country this year giving best value for tourists carrying British pounds.
Egypt and Turkey currently head the list of the fastest growing holiday hot spots for 2004 according to the British company NatWest Travel Services.
NatWest has looked at the number of currency orders taken at its branches during the first half of 2004 and drawn up a new list of 'rising stars' once the euro and the dollar have been excluded. The Egyptian Pound (up 46 percent) and the Turkish Lire (up 45 percent) have seen the most growth in terms of numbers of orders.
Robin Cockburn, Head of NatWest Travel Services, said: "Egypt and Turkey appear to be very popular holiday destinations for 2004 although traditional West European destinations will continue to be popular - we know that Spain was the most visited destination in 2003. Also, the Czech Republic, last year's hot spot winner still remains a top choice.
- However, if travellers are looking for relative value for money a very different picture emerges, adds Mr Cockburn. "We have looked at popular currencies that sterling has strengthened against over the last twelve months and in this respect Gambia, Indonesia and Mexico show the biggest changes. These destinations will give travellers real value for money."
The biggest relative increases in sterling value when compared with currency are by distance registered in The Gambia, with 32 percent. For British travellers, thus, The Gambia is this year's best buy - worldwide.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.