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Winter Sunshine Resorts In The Eurozone Costa A Lot Less Than Most Long Haul Ones

Press Release   •   Oct 18, 2014 00:00 BST

- European winter sunspots outperform most long haul rivals to grab best value rating
- Costa del Sol is cheapest but Bali squeezes in front of the Algarve to take second place
- Sri Lanka and Tobago boast biggest barometer falls for families on a half term break

Sun-seekers will find their pounds stretching further in the eurozone than in many long haul destinations, according to research released by Post Office Travel Money in advance of the school half term holidays. 

This reveals that sterling has surged to a six year high against the euro, making eurozone winter sun resorts cheaper¹ than some popular long haul destinations, where rising resort prices have counteracted the positive impact of sterling.

In a new Winter Sunshine Report barometer of 18 destinations in Europe and further afield, Post Office Travel Money found the Costa del Sol cheapest for a bargain break².  The cost of eight tourist staples, including a family meal, drinks, suncream and insect repellent, was just £44.  Bali (£47) just pipped Portugal’s Algarve (£48) for the runner-up spot.

Holidaymakers looking for more guaranteed winter sun in Europe will find great value in Tenerife at £58 for the eight items and Ayia Napa in Cyprus at £60.  Local prices in the four eurozone destinations surveyed are either level with last year or slightly cheaper.  However, an eight per cent rise in its value against the euro means the UK pound will pack an extra punch, making these popular hotspots cost up to 11 per cent less.

In sharp contrast, the two most popular Middle East sunspots look decidedly pricey. For example, the Post Office basket of goods in the most expensive destination, Jumeirah Beach, Dubai (£159), costs almost three times as much as in Tenerife.  The barometer basket in Sharm-el-Sheikh was also expensive at almost £115.  Compared with five years ago, costs have mushroomed by two-thirds in the Egyptian resort and are 56 per cent higher in Dubai.

However, there is better news for holidaymakers who pick a destination where the pound has risen in value and where resort prices are low. Those planning long haul trips to Sri Lanka (£55) and Thailand (£63), destinations long regarded as good value, will benefit from barometer falls of 19 per cent in resorts like Negombo and eight per cent in Phuket. 

The Thai resort was much cheaper than two other Far Eastern resorts.  In Vietnam, local

prices have risen over a third in Hoi An (£85) while they have mushroomed by 60 per cent in Penang (£124).  Even though the impact was cushioned by the strength of sterling against the Malaysian ringgit, reducing the amount extra UK visitors will pay to 55 per cent, this made Penang the survey’s second most expensive resort.

Tobago (£68) is another place for bargain hunters – lowest-priced of four Caribbean destinations surveyed by Post Office Travel Money and 18 per cent cheaper than a year ago.  Barometer costs in this lesser known Caribbean island were 36 per cent lower than in Rodney Bay, St Lucia (£106), 39 per cent cheaper than in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and almost 40 per cent down on those in Montego Bay, Jamaica (£113).

Barometer costs have also moved up 16 per cent to £93 in Cancun since last year but, to put this into context, they are 25 per cent lower than five years ago before Mexico began to attract significantly more UK visitors.

The same trend applies to Orlando (£72).  Costs for UK visitors have risen 17 per cent since last autumn, despite a stronger pound, but the long term trend shows that holidaymakers will be 28 per cent better off in the theme park capital than they were five years ago.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “While prices have fallen quite significantly in some resorts and there are great savings to be made for canny travellers, we found evidence of big increases in some of the most popular resorts. That’s why it will pay dividends to do some holiday homework by keeping an eye on exchange rates and checking prices for tourist staples on our website.

“Forearmed is forewarned: holidaymakers who budget carefully and carry enough cash to see them through their trip can benefit from improved rates on higher value transactions and avoid having to incur charges for changing money while abroad.  Changing money before leaving home makes more sense than to leave it to the last minute at the airport, which will give holidaymakers less travel cash for their pounds.”

Currencies for the Post Office Travel Money Winter Sunshine Report long haul destinations surveyed are among 30 available on demand at 1,600 larger Post Office branches, while over 10,000 offer euro over the counter and 4,000 offer US dollars.  More than 70 currencies can be pre-ordered at over 11,500 Post Office branches or online at postoffice.co.uk/travel for next day branch or home delivery. 

Compare resort costs by visiting www.postoffice.co.uk/travel.


Ends


For more information, please contact:
Gabrielle O’Gara 
 Post Office Press Office 
0207 250 2534 / 07436 034094
Gabrielle.ogara@postoffice.co.uk


Notes to editors:

¹ Comparison of Post Office Travel Money exchange rates between October 2014 and October 2013:

Currency

% +/- 2014 vs. 2013

 October 2014

October 2013

Dominican peso oro

+4.4

65.3934

62.6219

East Caribbean dollar

+1.3

4.0070

3.9549

Egyptian pound

+5.2

10.5139

9.9994

Euro

+7.9

1.2320

1.1420

Indonesian rupiah

+8.7

17953.1063

16,519.0150

Jamaican dollar

+10.0

168.5977

153.2108

Malaysian ringgit

+3.2

4.9063

4.7533

Mauritius rupee

+4.6

47.0461

44.9961

Mexican peso

+3.2

20.2783

19.6413

Sri Lankan rupee

+0.8

193.8785

192.3306

Thailand baht

+4.9

49.1987

46.9222

Trinidad/Tobago dollar

+0.2

9.4518

9.4295

UAE dirham

+1.3

5.6670

5.5933

US dollar

+1.1

1.5620

1.5450

Vietnamese dong

+2.4

30797.9326

30,076.6346

² The Post Office Winter Sunshine Report barometer table is compiled from a combination of data supplied by national or regional tourist offices in Europe and by long haul specialist Travelbag for long haul destinations (except Orlando supplied by Brand USA). Resorts featured are chosen as representative of the prices that UK holidaymakers will find in the destination.  Random online checks were made to authenticate these prices.

ITEMS

SPAIN

Costa del Sol

INDONESIA

Bali

PORTUGAL

Algarve

SRI LANKA

Various

SPAIN

Tenerife

CYPRUS

Ayia Napa

Cup of filter coffee

Café/bar

£0.97

£1.11

£0.57

£1.03

£1.22

£2.40

Bottle of local lager

Café/bar

£1.62

£1.03

£0.81

£1.24

£2.03

£1.83

Bottle/can of Coca-Cola

Café/bar

£0.97

£0.50

£0.81

£0.71

£1.46

£1.62

Glass of wine

Café/bar

£1.42

£2.23

£1.22

£2.94

£2.03

£2.44

Bottle of mineral water (1.5l)  Supermarket

£0.31

£0.28

£0.20

£0.52

£0.45

£0.31

Suncream

Supermarket

£4.02

£3.90

£7.31

£4.07

£6.09

£11.33

Insect repellent

Supermarket

£2.23

£0.56

£4.05

£2.97

£2.23

£2.68

3 course evening meal for 2 incl. bottle of wine

£32.49

£37.60

£32.90

£41.78

£42.49

£37.61

TOTAL COSTS

£44.03

£47.21

£47.87

£55.26

£58.00

£60.22

% rise/fall over 2013 prices

-7%

-12%

-11%

-19%

-6%

-8%

ITEMS

THAILAND

Phuket

TOBAGO

Various

VIETNAM

Hoi An

MEXICO

Cancun

USA

Orlando

MAURITIUS

Grand Baie

Cup of filter coffee

Café/bar

£1.02

£0.85

£2.05

£1.73

£1.28

£1.54

Bottle of local lager

Café/bar

£1.42

£1.06

£2.44

£1.97

£3.20

£2.13

Bottle/can of Coca-Cola

Café/bar

£0.55

£0.74

£1.69

£1.48

£1.92

£0.85

Glass of wine

Café/bar

£3.05

£2.64

£3.90

£4.93

£4.48

£3.08

Bottle of mineral water (1.5l)  Supermarket

£0.39

£1.59

£0.49

£0.44

£1.28

£0.53

Suncream

Supermarket

£2.54

£7.93

£4.87

£6.90

£5.12

£11.69

Insect repellent

Supermarket

£1.68

£1.69

£3.25

£2.71

£3.20

£2.66

3 course evening meal for 2 incl. bottle of wine

£52.44

£51.31

£66.63

£72.98

£51.22

£81.83

TOTAL COSTS

£63.09

£67.88

£85.32

£93.14

£71.70

£104.31

% rise/fall over 2013 prices

-8%

-18%

+32%

+16%

+17%

-15%

ITEMS

ST LUCIA

Rodney Bay

DOMINICAN REP

Punta Cana

JAMAICA

Montego Bay

EGYPT

Sharm

MALAYSIA

Penang

DUBAI

Jumeirah

Cup of filter coffee

Café/bar

£1.62

£0.99

£1.93

£1.24

£2.80

£4.41

Bottle of local lager

Café/bar

£2.25

£1.91

£2.22

£2.66

£9.17

£7.94

Bottle/can of Coca-Cola

Café/bar

£1.00

£0.76

£1.36

£0.76

£1.22

£2.65

Glass of wine

Café/bar

£4.24

£6.12

£4.63

£3.80

£6.88

£8.82

Bottle of mineral water (1.5l)  Supermarket

£2.06

£0.34

£0.56

£0.67

£0.75

£2.65

Suncream

Supermarket

£5.74

£6.88

£8.01

£8.08

£11.97

£8.82

Insect repellent

Supermarket

£2.87

£4.97

£5.90

£1.24

£4.59

£8.82

3 course evening meal for 2 incl. bottle of wine

£86.10

£88.62

£87.78

£96.35

£86.62

£115.23

TOTAL COSTS

£105.88

£110.59

£112.39

£114.80

£124.00

£159.34

% rise/fall over 2013 prices

-12%

-3%

+30%

N/A

+55%

+8%


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