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Far East cities are best bargains for a long haul break

Press release   •   Aug 05, 2017 00:01 BST

Night market in Bangkok, Thailand
  • Bangkok, Tokyo and Beijing are best value in new Long Haul City Costs Barometer
    • The cost of eating out is lowest in Tokyo and highest in Singapore
    • Dubai is the cheapest of five cities with flight times of eight hours or less
    • Cultural sightseeing costs least in Washington DC but most in New York

  • A trio of Far Eastern cities have been named best value for a long haul city break in a new barometer of costs for British holidaymakers in 10 cities with flight times of six or more hours from UK airports.Research for the Post Office Travel Money Long Haul City Costs Barometer found that Bangkok is cheapest overall, narrowly beating Tokyo and Beijing, while cities in North America are significantly more expensive1.

    At £317 for 11 typical city break tourist items - meals and drinks, sightseeing, airport transfers and three nights’ weekend accommodation – Bangkok prices are around £14 lower than in Tokyo (£331).However, this is because hotel prices in the Thai capital are almost £100 lower for three nights than in Tokyo.Aside from this, the Japanese capital boasts the cheapest prices by far for the other 10 items.Beijing also emerges as great value at £337.

    Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “Long haul city breaks have been identified by ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) as one of the big new travel trends.With the autumn season for city breaks on the horizon, we chose to compare prices in 10 cities that attract British visitors for standalone city breaks or as stopover destinations to see which will cost the least.Cities in the Far East are looking unbeatable value.

    “We advise people considering a long haul city break to do some advance homework before booking.Compare meal and drink prices as these are costs that tourists cannot avoid on a city break trip and over the course of a three day stay they will soon mount up.”

    The Post Office found that the cost of eating out is lowest in Tokyo, where a three-course evening meal for two with a bottle of house wine is just under £34.This means that eating out for three evenings in Japan costs around the same as one meal in Singapore (£101.20).

    Andrew Brown added: “Holidaymakers will need to factor in flight costs to the price they will pay for hotels, meals, drinks and sightseeing but these can be surprisingly cheap now that low cost carriers are competing for long haul business with great value fares.It’s also a good idea to compare airfares in different months to find the cheapest times to fly.”

    The shortest flight time for the 10 cities surveyed is to Dubai (seven hours) and the Emirate proved to be the cheapest of five cities that have journeys of eight hours or less.At £360 for the barometer items, prices in Dubai are less than half those in Boston (£823), the most expensive city in the survey.A cost of £668 for three nights’ four star accommodation in the American city accounts for the high price tag.

    Washington DC emerges as cheapest of four cities surveyed in North America.At £504, the US capital benefited from well-priced accommodation - £382 for three nights – and free entry to top galleries and museums, including the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institute. By contrast, visits to top sightseeing attractions in New York (Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of National History and Ellis Island/the Statue of Liberty) will set British tourists back over £56.

    Excluding accommodation, New York is also the priciest city for the 10 ‘cost of living’ items.Across the border, Toronto (£612) prices are lower than in either New York or Boston.

    The Post Office is the UK’s leading provider of foreign currency, offering US dollars in over 4,000 branches. They can also be ordered online at for same day ‘click and collect’ at almost 3,000 branches or for home delivery/next day collection at any branch.1,600 larger Post Office Branches stock 30 leading currencies while up to 80 can be pre-ordered at over 11,600 branches or online for next day branch or home delivery.

    • Ends

      For more information, please contact:

      Joanne Leahy Post Office Press Office07484 051566

      Christine BallCBPR01798 874177 / 07976

      Notes to Editors:

      1 Post Office Long Haul City Costs Barometer 2017: prices were supplied by National and Regional Tourist Offices of participating cities, except for US cities, researched online. Three-night accommodation prices were sourced from (24 July) based on an average of the five cheapest available 3.5-4-star city centre accommodation for two adults sharing a double/twin en-suite room between 29 September-2 October.

    ITEMSSingapore USA CanadaUSA USA
    Cup of coffee (regular filter) - café/bar£2.98£1.75£1.60£1.67£1.55
    Bottle of beer/lager (330ml local brand) - café/bar£7.14£5.44£4.47£5.05£3.36
    Coca-Cola/Pepsi (330ml bottle/can) - café/bar£2.98£1.94£1.60£2.29£2.33
    Glass of wine (175ml house) - café/bar£8.93£6.60£5.11£6.99£6.99
    3 course evening meal for 2 with bottle of house wine£101.20£56.68£97.68£70.66£72.21
    Return bus or train transfer from airport to city centre£2.86£11.65£4.15£26.40£4.27
    Sightseeing city bus/boat tour£14.23£38.05£24.26£34.16£31.06
    Top tourist heritage attraction£8.93£0.00£9.58£19.80£21.74
    Top museum£11.91£0.00£12.77£17.08£11.65
    Top art gallery£10.12£0.00£12.45£19.41£0.00
    SUBTOTAL £171.28£122.11£173.67£203.51£155.16
    3 nights' 4* accommodation (weekend) for 2 adults£238.00£382.00£438.00£507.00£668.00
    TOTAL COSTS£409.28£504.11£611.67£710.51£823.16

    ITEMSThailandJapanChina UAESouth Africa
    Cup of coffee (regular filter) - café/bar£2.80£1.45£4.27£2.61£1.23
    Bottle of beer/lager (330ml local brand) - café/bar£2.92£0.72£3.05£6.52£1.54
    Coca-Cola/Pepsi (330ml bottle/can) - café/bar£2.19£0.58£1.83£1.52£0.93
    Glass of wine (175ml house) - café/bar£3.65£0.72£4.89£7.61£3.09
    3 course evening meal for 2 with bottle of house wine£85.25£33.99£73.28£76.52£40.11
    Return bus or train transfer from airport to city centre£1.71£5.93£3.91£1.78£8.02
    Sightseeing city bus/boat tour£25.58£11.56£24.43£26.96£10.49
    Top tourist heritage attraction£12.18£0.00£5.50£4.35£15.74
    Top museum£3.65£0.00£7.33£0.65£1.85
    Top art gallery£0.00£2.89£0.00£0.00£1.85
    SUBTOTAL £139.93£57.84£128.49£128.52£84.85
    3 nights' 4* accommodation (weekend) for 2 adults£177.00£273.00£209.00£232.00£310.00
    TOTAL COSTS£316.93£330.84£337.49£360..52£394.85

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