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Travel industry news

21 Sep 2016

BY Jennifer Morris


Cape Town best long-haul value

Tourist items such as meals are cheapest in the capital of South Africa – and dearest in parts of Dubai. By Jennifer Morris.

Kite surfers off Cape Town

What's the best long-haul bang for your buck?

Bali has been knocked off the top spot in the Post Office Travel Money’s annual report on prices in long-haul destinations.

Instead Cape Town leads the field in this year’s Long Haul Holiday Report for being the cheapest of 34 resorts and cities, with a cup of coffee averaging £1.10 and a glass of wine £2.74.

Jumeirah Beach in Dubai is the most expensive, with a cup of coffee coming in at £4.26 and a glass of wine at £10.64.

Tokyo remains third cheapest, but is closing the gap on Cape Town and Bali with a cup of coffee averaging £2.06.

Using prices researched by long-haul tailor-made specialist Travelbag, Cape Town proved the clear winner in the ninth annual survey.

At £48.89 for a “basket” of 10 tourist items, including meals and drinks, the South African city ranks significantly cheaper than Bali (£62.56), where the cost of eating out has increased by more than 50% in the past 12 months.

Tourist prices there are now 28% higher than in Cape Town.

Competition between shops, restaurants and bars in Tokyo has reduced prices in the Japanese capital, and countered the effect of a 24% surge in the yen’s value against the pound.

An 8% fall in local prices means Tokyo is challenging Bali for second place, with the basket costing £63.87.

Although tourist prices are up by an average of 25% across all destinations once the sterling exchange rate (as of September 8, 2016) has been factored in, Tokyo is among the 40% where local prices have fallen below what they were in 2015.

In Orlando, prices are 12% higher than a year ago after the exchange rate is applied – half the overall average rise across the destinations surveyed. At £79.76 for the 10 items, Orlando has entered the best value top 10 in ninth place, its highest ranking in three years.

Washington DC (£142.22) was the most expensive of six American destinations surveyed.


Cancun moves up

Cancun moves up

Cancun (£74.26) is up to sixth place on the back of a relatively weak Mexican peso, just behind Kenya’s Mombasa coastline (£69.41) and Colombo, Sri Lanka (£70.61).

Mexico’s most popular resort has led a Latin-American charge in which Lima in Peru (£78.52), a new introduction to the 2016 survey, has entered the top 10 in eighth place, while Tamarindo (£87.03) ranks in 12th place.

All three Latin American destinations eclipsed the six Caribbean resort areas surveyed for the report.

Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic was the cheapest of the six, ranking 15th overall, with a cost of £91.24 for the 10 tourist staples.

St Lucia, Jamaica, Barbados and Antigua were far more costly. At £157.60, English Harbour in Antigua was 73% more expensive than Punta Cana.

Grand Baie in Mauritius (£83.70) made the Post Office top 10 for the third consecutive year, perhaps proving true the island’s claim to offer “affordable luxury”. Prices in Grand Baie are down 16% on five years ago.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “Costs may be higher in long-haul holiday resorts this year for UK travellers but the good news is that local price cuts in many of the most popular ones will help to lessen the impact of the weaker pound.

“More than ever before, it will pay dividends to do some holiday homework before booking to find out where meals and drinks are cheapest.

“This can make a big difference to the overall cost of a holiday.”

Travelbag cites South Africa, Bali, Phuket and Mexico as destinations that are growing in popularity due to the combination of good-value packages and good prices in-resort.

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