Post Office reveals cheapest holiday hotspots this year as prices drop

Good news for us all this morning – it will be cheaper to go on holiday this year. Meals and drinks will cost less in many of the world’s most popular hotspots, says the Post Office.

They have surveyed 42 destinations and prices will be cheaper in more than 40 per cent. In eight destinations prices were down by 20 per cent or more. And one of the cheapest holiday hotspots is Sunny Beach (above) in Bulgaria.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “The squeeze on spending at home means holiday resorts and cities where the pound will stretch further or where local prices are cheap are likely to reap the benefit of increasing visitor numbers in 2018.”

Sunny Beach has taken the top spot in the Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer for the first time, with a clear margin over its two closest rivals, Japan and the Algarve. The cost of eight tourist items including a meal for two, drinks, suncream and insect repellent, came in at £37.92.

The biggest price falls of all have been in long haul destinations, thanks to a combination of the stronger pound and lower charges in shops, restaurants and bars.

Prices have dropped 36 per cent in Dubai (Jumeirah Beach, £141.23) and 27 per cent in New Zealand (Auckland, £104.80), while prices have plummeted in the Caribbean: 31 per cent in St Lucia (Rodney Bay, £99.61) and Antigua (Jolly Beach, £114.18); 27 per cent in Jamaica (Montego Bay, £105.53) and 26 per cent in the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana, £67.46).

There have also been significant price falls in two long haul cities that have risen to prominence in Post Office barometers in recent years. Take a look at the barometer of the cheapest holiday hotspots.

cheapest holiday hotspots

Japanese capital Tokyo (£43.14) remains the cheapest long haul destination and has moved up from eighth to second place in the barometer of 42 global favourites on the back of a 26 per cent price fall.

Cape Town (£54.95), which has also attracted growing numbers of UK visitors because of its favourable exchange rate and low city costs, returns to the best value top 10 in fifth place. The top tourist city in South Africa, which is among the Post Office’s 10 hotlist trips for 2018, has moved up from number 11 last year after a 16 per cent drop in prices.

These are the only two long haul destinations to feature in the Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer Top 10 as Europe continues to dominate the 10 leading places. However, rising prices mean holidaymakers can expect to pay more in 11 of 12 European resorts and cities.

Prices have risen by a third to £44.25 in the Algarve, last year’s best value destination, which has dropped to third place. The biggest increase has been in the Costa del Sol, where prices have increased by over 42 per cent to £55.20 – the result of steep increases in the cost of eating out.

The only European destination to register a price fall was Porec in Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula. At £61.54, a drop of 11 per cent has taken the Croatian resort into the worldwide barometer top 10 for the first time, in ninth place. Croatia is one of 10 Post Office 2018 hotlist tips after Croatian kuna sales surged by 38 per cent last year and doubled over the past five years.

Andrew Brown said: “Croatia is one of the biggest destination success stories of the past decade, and its broad appeal to holidaymakers of all types means it can expect to gain further ground in 2018. One of the country’s key strengths is its youth appeal and the low prices revealed by this year’s barometer will be an added incentive for this growing market.”

France and Italy remains Europe’s most expensive countries for UK visitors as they have been throughout the 10 years of the Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer. Prices in Nice have risen almost 17 per cent since last year to £106.45 and are well over double those in Sunny Beach and the Algarve. Italy is cheaper than France though, with prices in Sorrento (£91.47) 14 per cent lower than in Nice.

Across the Atlantic, Orlando (£71.82) is more cost effective for UK visitors as prices have dropped 11 per cent since last January when the US dollar was much stronger. New York (£95.88) has also seen a marginal fall in tourist costs – albeit of only one per cent.

In the Far East, Vietnam and Bali have moved further ahead of Thailand. The gap has widened because of a 21 per cent year-on-year price rise in Phuket (£86.27), compared with falls in Vietnam and Bali. Just outside the top 10, prices in Hoi An, Vietnam have fallen by 21 per cent to £65.85, while those in Kuta, Bali are down one per cent at 66.61. This means visitors to Phuket are likely to pay around 30 per cent more than in Hoi An or Kuta.

Andrew Brown said: “Growing numbers of bargain-hunting holidaymakers are turning to Bali and Vietnam as awareness of their weak currencies, low resort costs and cheaper flight prices drives demand. Over the past five years the Indonesian rupiah and the Vietnamese dong have shown the highest levels of growth of any currency we offer.”

At the foot of the barometer table falling prices in Dubai (£141.23) have helped the Emirate to rise above Singapore (£153.72), which emerges as this year’s most expensive country.

Andrew Brown said: “This year’s barometer results are a mixed bag. Holidaymakers planning trips to long haul destinations will benefit from big price falls that will help their travel cash stretch further. The Far East looks great value – especially Japan, Vietnam and Bali – and so too are several Caribbean islands.

“Closer to home, tourists will have to dig a bit deeper in their pockets to meet the higher prices we found in many resorts. Despite this, there is no beating Bulgaria for its low prices and it is good to see Croatia featuring in the best value top 10 for the first time. The clear message is to do your holiday homework before booking to be sure of a good deal.”


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