Intermediate English Test for Catering and Tourism
You can spend altogether 45 minutes on the reading text .
Write all the answers on the ANSWER SHEET.
Wednesday, December 16, 1998 Published at 14:58 GMT
ADVICE FOR EUROLAND TOURISTS
Let's be honest. The main reason for European Monetary Union is not to make it easier for
you to go on holiday, but to give the economy a boost.
But then tourism is a service industry like any other, and tourists travelling the new
Euroland will reap the benefits.
National currency banknotes will be around for another three years. However, it will take
some time before you notice the difference. After all, euro bank notes and coins will not be
introduced before January 2002. Monetary union, though, is already a reality, because the
exchange rates of national currencies are irrevocably fixed. Your money will be valid across
the eleven-member eurozone: Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Austria, the
Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland and Italy.
This means that there is a fixed amount of e.g. Spanish pesetas or Italian lire to the euro,
just as there are 100 cents to the US dollar.
The new single currency may change your travel plans even before you leave home.
Travellers' cheques are directly exchangeable across the eurozone. Your local travel agent
will not expect you to pay for your holiday in euros before 2002. But in order to get a good
deal you may want to compare prices.
Some of the best travel offers can be found on the Internet. Until recently, most were priced
in dollars and only available in the United States.
Monetary union is bound to change that. Airlines, hotel chains and even small operators can
now price in euros and therefore gain access to the huge market of Euroland travellers.
Have a look online: Your favourite hotel on the Costa del Sol may offer you a better deal
than your travel agent if you book directly, and you can judge whether it is cheaper to rent
your car at home or online from the operator at Rome airport by looking at the euro price.
Exchange rate stability means an end to worries about when to change your money. When
you sort out your travel money, you will be grateful for the new exchange rate stability
across the eurozone. It means an end to worries about when to get your holiday money.
But should you pay in euros or still get the local currency beforehand?
Many banks already offer you the facility to do business in euros - with credit cards, euro
accounts and electronic money transfers.
But frankly, even if you travel a lot, as a citizen of Euroland you do not really need these
accounts before 2002. Any amount of EMU currency going out of your account, for example
a credit card payment, should be "exchanged" for free.
However, you should be aware of the new euro-denominated travellers' cheques, which will
be introduced in 1999.
It does not matter whether you are a backpacker or business class passenger. Euro-
denominated travellers' cheques are bound to save you money, because they will be
exchangeable directly into any of the currencies in the eurozone.
For example, if you are on holiday in Germany and pay with Deutschmark cheques you
should not have to pay an exchange fee when converting these cheques in Berlin. But if you
travel on to France, a conversion fee does apply when converting those Deutschmark
cheques to get French francs in Paris.
In contrast, euro travellers' cheque will be directly exchangeable - without conversion fees -
on both sides of the border and all around the eurozone.
Of course, banks and bureaux de change may continue to charge their own commission on
Some shops and restaurants are already displaying prices in euros and their national
currency. Once you have arrived at your destination, so-called dual pricing will make the
biggest difference to your holiday.
Some hotels and restaurants made an early start and began to display their prices in both
euros and the national currency as early as spring 1998. More will follow during the coming
years and this will give you an opportunity to compare directly the price levels at home and
at your holiday destination.
For example that leather jacket: Is it cheaper in Spain or across the border in Portugal?
Before heading home on the motorway: Should you fill up with petrol in Germany or the
Netherlands? And is that nice cutlery set really the bargain it is made out to be?
For Euroland tourists the real price of goods and services will be much clearer now, and you
don't have to get out the calculator to convert exchange rates.
If a salesperson does not show the euro price, ask for one - the onus will increasingly be on
him or her to compete on the basis of euro prices. In theory, you should be protected from
hidden price rises, as retailers have promised that their goods will be no more expensive in
euros than in the national currency.
The euro will change your holiday even if you are on an all-inclusive package holiday and
spend a week or two at one resort without crossing any borders.
While airfares and hotel room costs are expected to come down slightly overall, more direct
competition is expected to see the cheaper holiday destinations like Spain and Portugal
become more expensive over time as prices average out across the eurozone. Another
factor is the strength of the euro. If the single currency gains in value, destinations outside
the eurozone such as Turkey and Greece will become more attractive.
Travellers to the EU should also be aware of the demise of duty-free retailing, which is due
to come in on 1 July 1999 - unless it wins a last minutes reprieve.
Although this is not part of the single currency changeover, it will mean the shops selling tax
and excise-free goods will begin to charge EU citizens duties like value-added tax.
(BBC News, Internet)
For Questions 1-5, choose from the list (a-f) the sentence which best summarises each
(1-5) of the article. There is one extra sentence which you DO NOT NEED to use.
a. PACKAGE HOLIDAY TRAVELLERS
b. DUTY FREE
c. TRAVEL MONEY
d. BOOKING A HOLIDAY
e. INCREASE IN THE EXCHANGE RATE
f. DUAL PRICING
In boxes5-11 on your answer sheet write
T if the statement is TRUE according to the text
F if the statement is FALSE according to the text
6. National currency banknotes will be around for another few years.
7. Direct bookings on the Internet may offer lower prices than your travel agent.
8. A conversion fee applies when you convert euro-denominated travellers’ cheques.
9. Dual pricing will make it more difficult for tourists to calculate prices.
10. The introduction of the euro will lead to a slight decrease in prices in every country
of the eurozone.
11. The end of duty free retailing means the beginning of charging VAT.
Questions 12 – 16.
Find the words in the text which mean the same as the following:
12. business which does not manufacture goods but which provides customers with
services that they are willing to pay for (par 0) –
13. the value of one currency in terms of another (par1) –
14. the retailer in the chain of distribution in the tourism industry (par 1) -
15. a payment to an agent for his part in the sale, often a percentage of the value of the
goods or services (par 2 ) –
16. a place to which a person or thing is going (par 4) –
Using the information in the text, complete the following sentences with not more than
17. You need not worry about when to get your holiday money because ………………..
18. It will be cheaper to cash euro travellers’ cheques than national currencies because
19. Dual pricing is advantageous because ………………..
20. Spain and Portugal might become more expensive because ………………..
Intermediate English Test
for Tourism and Catering Code: First Marker:
SAMPLE Score: Second Marker:
Intermediate English Test SAMPLE
for Tourism and Catering
12. service industry
13. exchange rate
14. travel agent
17. exchange rates are stable/fixed.
18. conversion fees do not apply/there are no conversion fees.
19. you can compare prices.
20. prices will average out.