Wednesday, 22 June 2005 12:00 AM
A new web-based fantasy foreign exchange game could help thousands of holidaymakers save money when buying and selling foreign currency.
FX Player - dubbed the 'fantasy football of finance' - gives players £50 million to buy and sell currency in a simulation of a real foreign exchange trading environment.
And the people behind the game believe that a little education about the foreign exchange market would prevent holidaymakers literally throwing away money through ignorance and naivety.
FX Player managing director David White said: "Consumer are increasingly diligent in shopping around for the best bargain on flights and hotels but when it comes to currency they seem to have a mental block and are happy to be ignorant about exchange rates, not seeking out the best deals."
There are wide variations in exchange rates depending on where people change their money.
A recent survey by Co-op Travel and Travelcare agency revealed that airport foreign exchange bureaux offered poor rates compared with those available on the high street and online.
It found that failure to shop around could end up costing consumers up to nine pounds for every £100 they exchanged.
Mr White added: "Rates can vary enormously depending on where you change money from the exchange bureau to the bank to taking it out on your credit card - after spending hours on the internet to save £20 on flights, it is na ve of people to then not look for the best rate on their currency."
FX Player is launching a summer challenge to consumers on June 27. The player that makes the most money at the end of the eight week game will win a luxury trip to New York worth over £8,000.
FX Player's Paul Statham added: "Many people simply enjoy online gaming. FX Player gives players the chance to enjoy the excitement of trading and win great prizes."
For more information see: www.fxplayer.com.