Rand at best exchange to USD in last 7 months...

Reply

May 17th, 2005, 05:30 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Rand at best exchange to USD in last 7 months...

http://www.oanda.com/convert/fxhistory

The Rand, currently at 6.459 to $1, is at its most favorable rate since October 15th when it traded at 6.53 to $1.

Since October 15th the Rand grew so strong that in late December it actually fell to 5.535 to $1, meaning that if a person pays for their South African trip now, that a $10,000 trip would have cost 55,350 Rand.

As of this writing, the same 55,350 Rand would only set a person back $8,569.44, meaning that for every $10,000 that a person would save $1,430.56 right now.

The Rand has now been at over 6.0 to $1 for the last 60+ days and that is very encouraging for Americans traveling to South Africa. Hopefully the USD continues to improve and we will again see the Rand at 7+ per $1...the last time this happened was on May 14th of last year.

I do think now would be a great time to book any open reservations to Southern Africa, s the Rand will probably come back down a little before it goes back up.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 18th, 2005, 01:57 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097
Roccco,

May I remind you that this is NOT an American chatboard, it is an international one. There are some people on this board who as South Africans would prefer to have a strong currency just as you would understandably want a strong Dollar.

How would you like it if I wrote on this board lets hope that the Rand strengthens against a weakening USD to the tune of it being R2 to the US$??

Dont give me the nonsense response that if the US$ goes up USA tourism to SA will go up or vice versa because tourism is only number 3-4 in line when it comes to SA's income and to top this USA tourism is even lower down the line. Yes USA tourism is important to SA BUT not at the expense of us having a poor currency.

Just as you as an American want a strong currency we as South Africans want one to and if this results in toursism dropping then we as South Africans will have to do something about this in terms of what we offer so as to attract the business we might lose.

With that said I find parts of your mail are very insensitive.

Enough said.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 18th, 2005, 02:31 PM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Selwyn,

My apologies for any insensitivities, real or imagined.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 18th, 2005, 03:15 PM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
My apologies also to the South African sheep...

http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=2525524

Oh well, at least the South African wool manufacturers are seeing a benefit from the weaker rand.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 18th, 2005, 06:00 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 78
As someone involved in the tourism industry I would welcome a weaker and more stable Rand it is difficult to sell South Africa as a destination as it has become very expensive.

The industry increased prices when the Rand fell to 10 to the $ us and 16to the GBP.

The rate then fell back to 6 and 11 so the costs in the overseas visitors showed a huge increase.

South Africa is a wonderful country and needs and can handle many more overseas visitors and has unique attractions, but there are many countries particularly in Asia that also have great attractions and are a lot less expensive.
colind is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 18th, 2005, 10:26 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097
Colin,

I too am involved in te tourism industry in SA however with that said if we as "tourism people" cant pull up our socks up so as to counter the possibility of less tourism due to the our currency improving then what are we truly in business for while building our great new country. Nobody said it would be easy to have a strong currency however if you want SA to move forward then you need a strong Rand whereas if you want to stay in the get rich quick market at the expense of us having a weaker currency then I dont believe that this feeling helps in attempting to build a strong new country as I beleive most of us are attempting to do.

All I can tell you is that since the Rand drop from 10 to the Dollar I am more busy as a tour operator than I have ever been and I believe the reason for this has been that I keep changing my product so as to continously offer better and unique value. Unfortunately I dont believe that the most in the SA tourism industry do this and if only we would get off our butts and attack the problem as opposed to trying to always do things the easy way, life might change for the good for all in this wonderful land as opposed to a small group of tour operators and those who benefit from their deeds.

Just my personal thoughts on this subject

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 18th, 2005, 10:58 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 78
Interest rates are kept at rates which are far higher than any where else in the developed world including most of Asia to support the Rand which also slows down development.

What is the benefit of a strong Rand ? and why because it is getting stronger do you think it is improving ?

I am currently in China which has pegged its currency against the dollar and is hence very week the economy is booming with growth rates of 12 + % with exports at record levels.
colind is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 19th, 2005, 03:34 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097
Colin,

I dont fully understand what you mean when you say "Interest rates are kept at rates which are far higher than any where else in the developed world including most of Asia to support the Rand which also slows down development"

Why I say that I dont understand the above is because I dont see where the interest rates that are higher slow development down so I cant really answer you on this issue.

In terms of why I believe that a stronger Rand is better for us it is in my opinion a simple fact that as a country we do not need to lock our currency such as China has done according to your mail. I feel that we rather need to improve our production and quality levels in all that we do (including tourism) so as to offer better products to the outside world at a fair rate to the Rand. With that said I do believe that we need to use outside expertise in many cases to do this such as computers, cars that we assemble but dont manufacture, higher quality yet cheaper facilities related to tourism such as tours, accommodation etc. To lock the Rand or call for facilities such as easing of the Rand value with government intervention is the lazy mans way out and I strongly feel that as South Africans we need to step out of the easy, lazy mode that we have relied on in the past, knuckle down and start working a damn sight harder so as to improve ourselves and our great land in the process.

To achieve much of the above we will need to import quite a bit of technology such as IT equipment being a simple example and with a strong Rand these technologies would be much cheaper to buy.

What is most important is that if we do all of the above then in years to come we will lose the third world tag that we presently carry

It all becomes a case of whether one believes in being a cheap exporter by controlling the Rand as well as an expensive importer as you seem to advocate or otherwise being a strong exporter by increaing the quality and production of our exports and in the process also gaining in price on our imports because of a strong Rand. Which of these two systems is the correct one is a totally different debate which I dont believe is made for this web forum and thus wont debate it here.

To return to the very original point of this thread my belief is that if South Africans have a strong Rand, immaterial of all of the above, the one factor that then takes over is national pride and when a country's people hold the moral high ground through its pride anything is possible. If on the other hand a country is always put down and is shown to be of poor quality via its currency this is a surefire manner to lose the plot. It is for this reason that I pointed out to Roccco in the early part of this thread that this is an international chatboard and nobody needs to just about wish another country's currency to go down even if it is honestly said only to to suit the travel needs of those planning on coming to SA. As I see it the picture is a lot bigger than just luring tourists to our shores if we want to become a world player in years, if not generations, to come.

VERY PROUDLY part of the wonderful nation of South Africa


Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 19th, 2005, 06:05 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 78
The Rand is being controlled, interest rates are kept high to keep the Rand artificially high for some reason.

High interest rates slow development because of the high cost of borrowing money.

The Chinese are extremely proud of what the country is achieving.

However as you say this is a travel forum and South Africa is a wonderful country and we must keep finding innovative ways to attract visitors to the country at affordable prices.
colind is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 19th, 2005, 09:30 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 150
Selwyn...you really need to relax. Rocco was just trying to be helpful. As a US resident I am thrilled that the Rand has lost a little bit of value against the $ to make my trip a little less expensive. That is not insensitive merely good news for an overseas visitor to the RSA.
The dollar is weak against almost every currency that doesnt particularly upset me and doesnt reflect on a weak US economy and I think its great that Europeans can visit here and have a good time for less money.
laguna92688 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 19th, 2005, 10:59 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097
Laguna,

I hear what you say and dont really want to harp on this subject because Rooccco has already apologised for any insensitivities, however purely for purposes of having the courtesy to answer you let me just remind you of the line that was published:

Hopefully the USD continues to improve and we will again see the Rand at 7+ per $1...the last time this happened was on May 14th of last year

Maybe I am being oversensitive but it is my feeling that all that thas was needed to be said was "Hopefully the US$ continues to improve" and thats it! The wish thereafter for the Rand to go into further decline on what is an international chatboard was unnecesarry and insensitive in my opinion. I am saying this because I am sick and tired of having to read how people unnecessarily bash my country's currency to suit their own needs and simply ask the question of how would you feel if this happened to you and your countries currency? Thats all I was trying to project in my mail criticising Roccco's statement.

Colin just as a matter of interest I do not believe that the Rand-Dollar is overvalued at 6-1. As a matter of fact I believe that 6-1 is correct and when the Rand was R10-1 to the US$ it actually was hopelessly undervalued.

Just my one Rand worth.

STILL very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 20th, 2005, 12:28 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 686
There you go too Selwyn, undervaluing the Rand! You need to go back to your "twopence worth"!
ArthurSA is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 20th, 2005, 01:43 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 78
How would you guys in the U.S. feel about paying 10-11% interest on your mortgage?

With interest rates at these level the Rand has to be not only overvalued but unstable as everyone would send their money here to earn these levels of interest, or alternatively South Africanís would get overseas mortgages.

I emigrated to South Africa because I think it is a wonderful country and enjoy sharing it with other overseas friends but strange economic policies really donít help.
colind is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 20th, 2005, 01:50 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097
ArthurSA,

Great call. I love it.

Just my own undervalued thoughts.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 30th, 2005, 10:40 PM
  #15
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
(All politics aside, please)

The Rand is now trading at 6.69 ZAR to $1 USD.

What is the buying power of 6.69 ZAR to $1 USD?

Singita Private Game Reserve - 3 nights @ 6,800 ZAR (rack rate) per person = 40,800 ZAR or $6,099 USD, averaging out to $2,033 USD per night.

Simbambili Private Game Reserve - 4 night special from Taga Safaris @ 8,510 ZAR per person = 17,020 ZAR or $2,544 USD. That is an amazing deal averaging out to only $636 USD per night per room.

http://www.tagasafaris.co.za/simbamb...odge-rates.htm

By the way, the latest update on the Leopards Of Simbambili series is pretty magnificent:

http://www.tagasafaris.co.za/african...est-events.htm

(Africa Lover, were you in the filming vehicle?)

Westcliff Hotel, Johannesburg - 2 night internet special, direct booking on Westcliff's website = $120 per night for 2 night stay or about $185 per night for 1 night stay.

Le Quartier Francais, Franschoek (Cape Winelands) - 2 night internet special, including a four course dinner, two massages and a bottle of wine, direct booking on LQF's website = 3000 ZAR = $448 USD ($224 pp sharing). www.lequartier.co.za

Atlantic House, 5-Star Guesthouse, Camps Bay - 1300 ZAR per room per night = $194 per night or about 1/3 the price of the best hotels and about 1/2 the price of even many 4 star hotels in the better locations of Cape Town. www.atlantichouse.co.za

Suddenly, South Africa is starting to look affordable again. I mean Singita is within 0.12 Rand from being back under $2,000 per night. While most of us will not choose to pay this, I think this is great news for honeymooners or for those really wanting to splurge on Singita or similar properties.

South African luxury is actually quite affordable, if done right. Have a look at the following itinerary:

Westcliff Hotel (2) $240 USD
Simbambili (4) $2,545 USD
Atlantic House (4) $775 USD
Le Quartier Francais (2) $450 USD

GRAND TOTAL FOR 12 night luxury South African holiday = $4,010 USD ($2,005 USD) + air

For those of you who may have been delaying a trip to Southern Africa due to the costs, there is no need to delay. Satisfy your soul and come to Southern Africa now rather than later!
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 31st, 2005, 05:19 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 78
South Africa can be very afordable if you stay where South Africans stay.

As examples I don't think you will beat take a look at http://www.chamonix.co.za/accomstart.htm 230 Rand per person per night $35

Private cottage in a vineyard short walk to the centre of Franschoek simply magic.

Another favourite in the Eastern Cape is Blanco Guest Farm www.blanco.co.za 265 Rand $41 full board including 3 great meals like your Mom used to cook and morning and afternoon tea and cakes.

Would still prefer a weaker rand as an operator we make our profit on commission selling somwehere like Shamwari at 4500 Rand per night is a dream, it is also a wonderful palce to stay and back at 10 Rand to $1 would be affordable.

Back to Selwyn's point as a small local agent in South Africa we know the places that are great value and allows us to compete very well against the huge overseas agents.

South Africa will undoubtedly become more popular and busy on the run up to the football world cup, so now is a great time to visit
colind is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 31st, 2005, 03:56 PM
  #17
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Not to dance on anybody's grave, but Singita (my chosen measuring stick for South African affordability) is officially under $1000 per person per night for the first time in ages, as the Rand has dipped all the way down to 6.8148 to $1.

www.xe.com

These are the best rates (for Americans) that we have seen in about 1 year.


Colind...regarding your statement

>>>Would still prefer a weaker rand as an operator we make our profit on commission selling somwehere like Shamwari at 4500 Rand per night is a dream, it is also a wonderful palce to stay and back at 10 Rand to $1 would be affordable. <<<

I could not agree with you more. On my first visit, in March 2002, I stayed at Singita Private Game Reserve, Table Bay Hotel and the Mount Nelson Hotel (along with Matetsi Water Lodge and the Rosebank Hotel in Joburg). I did not know a thing back then and I am sure that my agent took full advantage of me, yet with the Rand at over 11 ZAR to $1, I still managed to stay at these great places.

Once the Rand took such a dip, however, I was forced to find new ways to visit South Africa.

In 2003, I was forced to downgrade from Singita to Djuma Vuyatela, and also spent 5 nights in Zambia since their tariffs are not tied to the Rand but rather to the dollar. I did stay 7 nights in Cape Town, but 6 of those nights were through a Luxury Link package where I stayed for 4 nights at the Twelve Apostles for only $570 USD and 2 nights in an Executive Suite at the Michelangelo for only $600.

Last year, I found South Africa so expensive that I did not step foot outside the Joburg Airport and instead flew directly to Zambia for all 11 of my nights.

This year, I am spending a bit more time in South Africa, but still the majority of time, 12 out of 19 nights, will be in Zambia. Of my 7 nights in South Africa, I will be staying at a guesthouse for the very first time in South Africa (the Atlantic House) and spend 3 nights in Simbambili, an excellent looking lodge with incredible wildlife, but half the price of Singita.

Despite shying away from South Africa increasingly more as the USD has weakened against the ZAR, I would spend more time at the best South African lodges in a heartbeat once the USD gains more ground against the ZAR.

I do hope that once South Africa stabilizes a bit, that it will also force Botswana to re-examine its own pricing. I don't expect that Mombo, for example, would try to price itself much higher than Singita, but right now with the recent decline in the Rand, Mombo is actually $400 per night more than Singita. While Mombo may be too full to think about lowering its rates right now, should Singita dip down a bit more, then I think Mombo may need to do some preventative maintenance by possibly either lowering their low season rates (currently there is no low season rate) or by, at a minimum, keeping their rates as is rather than raising them by 10%+ each year.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 1st, 2005, 02:06 AM
  #18
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
$1 = 6.8845

Singita = $1975 per night (again this is just my chosen measure for the South African economy and not really intended as anything more)
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 1st, 2005, 02:50 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 68
I think a weak Rand helps get people from many countries to South Africa the first time, but it is the magic of the place that makes you want to go back. I've travelled and vacationed a lot of different places, and I'd go back to South Africa even if it was as expensive as England or Germany.

I still fear for South Africa's future, there is enormous potential for it to become a showcase nation, but there are also enormous challenges. I think it could become either another Australia or another Zimbabwe.

In the meantime, I'll make plans for another trip. . .
Scout52 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 1st, 2005, 04:01 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 150
Its now R6.91. I think its going to hit R8/$ by next week!
laguna92688 is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:53 AM.