Bali and Cape Town have retained their places as the best value winter sun destinations in a year when the Long Haul Report from Post Office Travel Money has revealed big price swings up and down in many of the 34 countries surveyed for the seventh annual report.

 

The latest report reveals a 9% fall in the local price of ten tourist staples in Bali to £40, which helped increase its lead over Cape Town (£47) in the barometer table.

A combination of the weak Indonesian rupiah and local price falls in Bali mean meals, drinks and other tourist staples cost less than a third of those in the most expensive destinations surveyed. These were Muscat, Oman (£126); Auckland, New Zealand (£133); Singapore (£155) and Dubai (£161). In Dubai, prices have rocketed by 64%.

At under £50, Sri Lanka, a former ‘best value’ destination, has moved up to third place in the Post Office barometer table from fifth position a year ago after recording a 9% fall in prices. This was due entirely to local price falls in resort areas across Sri Lanka.

The power of the pound against their currencies means there are four new entrants to the Long Haul Report top ten. In Tokyo local price falls have added to an 11% rise in the value of sterling to help Japan move up to eighth place with a barometer basket costing more than a third less than last year at £66. Visitors to Mauritius will also be far better off because tourist staples are down 24% since last year. And Tobago, cheapest of six Caribbean islands surveyed at £72, has emerged as the tenth best value resort.

This year’s biggest bargain is Tamarindo in Costa Rica (£56) where holidaymakers will find that tourist staples have almost halved in price since 2013. This means Costa Rica, which may benefit from increased interest this winter after achieving a positive profile during the World Cup, has made the biggest leap to reach sixth position in the best value top ten.

However, tourists who think winter sun trips will be cheaper because of sterling’s strength against long-haul currencies could be mistaken. While prices have fallen in more than a third of the 34 destinations surveyed for the 2014 report, they have risen in 18 others.

In addition to the hefty price rises in Dubai, the barometer basket has risen 48% in Antigua and 39% in Vietnam's Hoi An. The underlying cause has been local resort price increases.

The company's Andrew Brown, said: “It all adds up to a polarised picture for UK holidaymakers. On the one hand there are great savings to be made in popular long-haul resorts and tourists will be ‘quids in’. On the other, people who make the wrong destination choice could fall victim to much increased resort prices and find themselves out of pocket. That’s why it really will pay dividends to do some holiday homework and check prices for meals, drinks and other tourist staples on our website and budget accordingly.”

For further information see www.postoffice.co.uk/longhaul2014

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