Bali named cheapest long-haul destination for third year in a row

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Bali has retained its position as the cheapest long-haul destination for the third year running, a new study reveals.

The Indonesian island was among 16 of 33 destinations to register a year-on-year price drop, including Cape Town and Tokyo.

Dubai was the most expensive destination surveyed at £167.10, while a rise of 15.2% in Muscat has seen Oman costs go up to £145.16.

Although prices have fallen 8.5% in Sharm El Sheikh to £107.32, this represents a rise of more than 20% over the past five years.

The year’s biggest fall in the cost of in-resort items has been in Penang, where prices have dropped 41.1% year-on-year to £68.29.

A more modest 5.5% price fall in Kuta, Bali, brings the cost of ten tourist staples down to £37.91.

The items include an evening meal for two with a bottle of wine, bottle of beer/lager, soft drink, glass of wine, cocktail, chocolate bar, mineral water, suncream and insect repellent.

Cape Town at £41.58 remains second cheapest for the third consecutive year but a bigger price fall year-on-year of 10.9% has helped the city narrow the gap with Bali, according to Post Office Travel Money’s annual report on the long haul holiday sector.

Tokyo at £51.81 has seen its value improve due to a combination of the strong pound and local price cuts. When this year’s 21.5% price reductions in the Japanese capital are added to significant falls reported 12 months ago, costs for UK visitors have halved since 2013, making a destination previously thought expensive an increasingly affordable option.

Other good value Asian destinations highlighted in the study include Phuket at £58.31, Hoi An, in Vietnam at £73.02 and the South Korean capital of Seoul at £69.02.

Rates researched for the report by long haul specialist Travelbag reveal show that Cancun prices have plunged by more than 11% since last September to £63.75 after a slump in the value of the Mexican peso, making Mexico the cheapest country in the Americas, followed by Costa Rica.

But the falling value of sterling against the dollar combined with local price rises in most areas in the region have seen costs increase by up to 23% in the Caribbean (Jamaica, £105.56) and 30% in the US (Austin, £99.93).

Orlando at £70.12 was the only one of 12 US and Caribbean destinations surveyed to register a year-on-year fall in prices, making it 42% cheaper than Miami at £121.33, the most expensive US destination.

Antigua (English Harbour) was highest-priced of six Caribbean islands. At £137.13, its barometer basket cost two-thirds more than in Tobago (£81.83), the most competitively-priced destination in the Caribbean.

Costs have fallen heavily in both Darwin (£91.13 – down 16.8%) and Auckland (£100.66 – down 24.3%) helped by the strength of the pound.

Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, said: “Price remains the big issue and so it is good news to see so many long-haul destinations offering great value, even though the strength of sterling is the main reason for the low resort costs.

“Local prices have only fallen in eight resorts this year, while sterling has risen in value against the currencies for most destinations.

“The trick is to do some holiday homework before booking and pick destinations where the cost of living is already low and where the strong pound is making prices even cheaper.”

He added: “In recent weeks sterling has been moving up in value against almost every long haul currency compared with earlier in the year so people planning long haul trips should monitor movements and purchase currency when the exchange rate is in their favour.”

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