Croatia , Europe’s Rising Holiday Star

The Post Office Travel Money’s top ten foreign currencies growth table report for summer 2011 reveals an interesting group of destinations which have topped the bill as this summer’s holiday favourites.

Mexico, Thailand, Barbados and Australia seem to have led long haul growth during the summer but the rising star in Europe has been Croatia.

Croatia beat off its European rivals for the third year in a row, attracting a high number of British tourists. It is one of only three short haul destinations to feature in the top destinations list along with Iceland and Switzerland.

Sol Melia, whose world renowned timeshare division Sol Melia Vacation Club recently rebranded as Club Melia, opened two luxury resort hotels in Umag, Croatia last year. The properties are the Melia Coral and Melia Istrian Villas and both reflect the company’s commitment to improving and expanding its portfolio in Croatia.

In fact, the revamped resorts will become the most luxurious company properties on the Umag coast, and operate to Meliá Hotels’ brand standards and focus on customer service.

The new Meliá Coral provides 244 rooms, six luxury suites and facilities including a spa, swimming pool, solarium, tapas bar and Mediterranean tavern. Its outdoor areas include two new leisure areas for fun and relaxation, the Club Elite Automat and the Beach Club.

Meliá Istrian Villas is an oasis of beachfront apartments just two kilometres from the centre of Umag. Both are affiliated with RCI.com’s exchange network.

Helped by direct British Airways flights to the popular resort of Cancun, Mexico was the clear winner in the summer survey for long haul destinations – its local currency was in high demand at Post Offices over the summer – demand for Mexican pesos shot up 144% compared to a year ago, pushing it into the Post Office’s top 20 bestselling currencies for the first time ever – in at no. 19.

Mexico is a top timeshare destination, particularly for US residents because of its border with the USA and both RCI and Interval International offer a choice of resorts in the region. Areas like Puerto Vallarta and the whole Mexican Riviera have been favourites since they were developed in the 1970s.

Sara Munro, Post Office head of travel money said, “Once again the big winners in the drive to attract UK holidaymakers were destinations further afield. Encouragingly, the best growth levels were recorded in August, which could be a positive indicator of what lies ahead as the winter sun season gets underway."

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