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2017 TOUR PRICES EXPLAINED

For those paying us in US Dollars, there are either no changes in our tour prices or in many cases price reductions, especially for those tours based in Euros or Pounds Sterling.

For those paying us in Euros, there is a mixture of small increases, level prices and small reductions.

For those paying us in Pounds Sterling, it is sadly a very different story.

As we sit here now, following the EU Referendum vote, it seems hard to believe that around two years ago, when we were confirming 2015 tour prices, the value of the Pound Sterling against the US Dollar was at 1.70.

Now it is at around 1.30 after the vote for 'Brexit'. Which means it takes 31% more Pounds to purchase the same number of US Dollars as it did only about two years ago (and 22% more than it did about a year ago when we were confirming 2016 tour prices at a rate of 1.58).

As our local suppliers in most of our tour destinations charge in US Dollars, the value of Sterling against the Dollar is key for all those tours. In addition, the Pound has sunk against just about every other major currency, including the Euro, the Australian Dollar, the New Zealand Dollar and the Japanese Yen.

Sadly, this sharp fall in the value of the currency is going to result in much higher tour prices for 2017 for those paying for tours in Pounds Sterling. Inevitably we can expect to see significant price adjustments across the UK bird tour operator spectrum, either in website prices or (in most cases) at the tour invoicing stage.

Many bird tour operators in the UK had already published all or most of their 2017 website tour prices prior to the referendum, using rates of exchange that are now only a memory. These website prices, which in most cases have not been changed since the crash in the Pound's value, are now, to all extents and purposes, meaningless.

Birdquest 2017 prices have, however, all been confirmed since the Referendum at levels that are realistic for the new harsh reality for the Pound. They may look high compared with others who have used outdated exchange rates, but they are 'real' prices, not 'unreal' prices.

We can only hope that the Pound will recover some ground between now and 2017. You can rest assurred that, owing to Birdquest's very fair 2-way currency adjustment system, you will receive the full benefit of any cost reduction that results, by way of a tour price reduction at the time of invoicing.

The Birdquest Team, July 2016