Post Office and Travelex run out of Brazilian Reals ahead of World Cup
Two major foreign exchange suppliers, Travelex and the Post Office, have run out of Brazilian reals ahead of the World cup.
The World Cup is fast approaching, and with only a week left to go excitement is mounting within the UK and the rest of the world. It’s expected to pull in 3.7 million visitors to Brazil, just over half of whom will actually be attending events linked to the tournament.
With each one spending an average of $2,488 during their stay, it’s expected to add more than $3 billion to the Brazilian economy.
With that kind of spending power flocking to Latin America this year, it’s inevitable that foreign exchange suppliers will see a spike in demand. But it seems that for two of the UK’s biggest providers of foreign currency, orders have far surpassed expectations – both Travelex and the Post Office have reportedly run out of Brazilian reals to sell to travellers.
Travelex branches at Heathrow and Manchester airports saw a 1,000 per cent leap in demand for the currency, which has left customers empty-handed. Meanwhile, the Post Office says it will not be able to deliver fresh stocks of the real to its 11,500 nationwide branches until this weekend, after a 400 per cent jump in orders left it struggling to meet demand.
In an interview with 5live, Travelex head of UK retail Elvin Eldic said that the firm is one of relatively few who actually offer the currency, meaning demand has been particularly pronounced. Still, he said, stocks should be replenished by the time the last fans fly out for England’s first game against Italy next week.
Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money added that he recommends travellers pre-order currency online or in branch to make sure they get their cash.
There has been plenty of controversy about the cost of the World Cup, both in terms of the huge investmentneeded to build and renovate the facilities and the inflated prices that will see tourists spending far more than they would outside of the World Cup in a country where prices are already high.
But the government is clearly banking on the World Cup to pay for itself. As well as the immediate economic boost from the influx of tourists, the world’s attention will be fixed on a market with high potential.
With concerns about an economic slowdown on the cards, Brasilia is clearly hoping one of the world’s biggest sporting events will lead to stronger, sustainable growth.