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