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South African Rand and U.S. Dollar sees Surging Demand from Travellers

South African tourism

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A travel money specialist has reported a spike in travel money orders for the U.S. and South Africa as UK and global travel restrictions continue to ease.

FairFX says it has witnessed an increase in customers purchasing travel cash and topping up their prepaid cards "as travel restrictions begin to ease and the US and South Africa look to become travel destinations again".

The U.S. announced foreign travellers would be allowed to visit again in November, however South Africa remains on the UK's red list of countries.

FairFX says speculation is mounting that South Africa will be taken off the red list, with an announcement due on or around 5th October.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said as part of an address to the nation regarding Covid restrictions that he has lobbied Boris Johnson to remove the country from its red list.

Ramaphosa said he "put South Africa’s case" to the British Prime Minister, "which he understood very well".

"We hope for a positive outcome when the subject comes up for review in the coming days by their scientists," Ramaphosa said.

On the back of an expected easing of restrictions, FairFX is seeing "a clear appetite from Brits to visit South Africa" with a 39% rise in prepaid travel card top ups in the currency in the past two weeks.

"We’ve seen a big increase in orders of US dollars and South African rand in the last couple of weeks, which suggests British holidaymakers are jumping at the chance to go further afield than Europe and visit destinations they’ve been locked out of for so long," says Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of FairFX.

At the same time they have seen a 9.0% increase in prepaid card top-ups in U.S. dollars as well as a 32% rise in people buying their cash dollars.

Demand for Swiss francs has increased 9.0% and FairFX say they have seen a 3.0% spike in prepaid cards being topped up with euros.

Strafford-Taylor says it's encouraging to see there’s a strong appetite for travel despite the continued uncertainty, "but as we’ve seen over recent months, things can and are changing quickly".