Local price cuts ‘making long-haul destinations more affordable’

Local price cuts ‘making long-haul destinations more affordable’

Price cuts by restaurants, bars and shops in long-haul resorts mean the cost to UK holidaymakers will be lower in more than a third of 30 destinations surveyed for a new report.

This is despite overall falls in the value of sterling since last year’s Brexit vote.

Tokyo, once seen as one of the most expensive cities in the world, has overtaken Cape Town as the cheapest long-haul destination for the first time.

Prices in the Japanese capital are 23% lower than a year ago to less than £50 for a basket of ten essential tourist purchases including meals and drinks – and down 60% since 2012.

Local costs in Tokyo are less than a third of those in Rio de Janeiro, this year’s most expensive destination at £160, according to the tenth annual Post Office Travel Money long haul holiday report complied with Travelbag.

The biggest price falls over the past 12 months have been in Antigua (Jolly Beach), St Lucia (Rodney Bay) and Jamaica (Montego Bay) – which means that local prices for UK tourists are likely to be as much as 27% cheaper than a year ago.

Prices also down by more than 20% at Jumeirah Beach in Dubai to £157.75 and Muscat in Oman to £141.29.

But the report paints a polarised picture with prices soaring in South America. A 45% price rise has made Rio the top-priced of 30 destinations surveyed, while the cost of tourist essentials is up 27% in Santiago, Chile and 54% in Lima, Peru – the steepest rise.

Big price increases in the past 12 months have also been registered in Phuket (17% to £88.84), Cancun (30% to £96.84) and Grand Baie, Mauritius (37% to £114.31).

However, costs have fallen by 9% in Hoi An, Vietnam; 8% in Tamarindo, Costa Rica; 7% in Penang, Malaysia and 6% in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, said: “With continuing uncertainty about sterling, it is more important than ever before for people planning winter sun holidays to do their homework and pick a destination where prices for tourist staples are low.

“In a Twitter poll we conducted last week over half of the 14,000-plus people who took part said hotel and flight costs are their major concern but the truth is that resort prices can make a big difference to the holiday budget.

“Fortunately, price falls in many UK favourites mean there are plenty of great value long haul destinations to choose from.

“Japan looks very affordable these days with low prices for meals and drinks in a wide range of centrally-located restaurants and bars and it is also good news that prices have dipped in popular Caribbean islands.”

Japan, Jamaica and St Lucia are among the destinations in hot demand according to the latest bookings trends from Travelbag.

Bookings are up almost 23% for Japan, nearly 27% for St Lucia and 63% for Jamaica compared with a year ago.

Head of product and commercial Oliver Lomas said: “Our customers are keen to make the most of their money when travelling to long-haul destinations, so considering the cost of spending money is of growing importance.

“We have seen an increase in bookings to a range of Caribbean and Asia destinations where rates for local tourist goods have stayed low.”

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