Page last updated at 13:39 GMT, Sunday, 3 May 2009 14:39 UK

Euro 'paying off' for resort town

Strand Quay
Traders in Rye claim tourism increased after they started accepting the euro

Traders in an East Sussex tourist town have said they are cashing in during the recession because they are accepting the euro.

Rye Chamber of Commerce said shops, hotels and businesses in the town had been accepting the currency for a few years and the decision had paid off.

A spokesman said the town had seen a marked increase in tourism from Europe and further afield.

Some guest houses are also accepting the US dollar.

And one gift shop has gone a step further by starting to take Australian currency.

We have found it a very simple process to accept the currency
Rye Chamber of Commerce

The spokesman said: "With more than 120 combined members, our associations have been accepting the euro for a few years now.

"With so many repeat visitors to the area, we have found it a very simple process to accept the currency."

He said that on Friday all members of the Rye and District Hotel and Caterers Association, and the Chamber of Commerce, had started using the same official exchange rate, which is being displayed prominently in the High Street.

'Quite European'

Jenny Hadfield, from Jeakes House guest house, said European visitors had been asking to pay with euros since the currency became legal tender in most EU states in 2002.

She said it had now become part of everyday life in Rye.

The Chamber of Commerce said the tourist town had always enjoyed a colourful history of dealings with Europe and was once infamous for its smuggling activities and other dubious trades.

It said the town had once again managed to cash in on the Continent by embracing the euro, and the move had been more successful than they had ever expected.

And the town, one of the South East's historic Cinque Ports, had "always been quite European", business leaders said.

The move had helped many businesses to "bolster their bottom line" at a time when the euro was strong against the pound, it added.

Last month, hotel bosses in Bournemouth and Poole, Dorset, announced they too would be accepting the Euro.

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