Tokyo up, Thailand down: New long-haul report shows where your travel money will go the furthest

14th Sep 19 | Lifestyle

New figures from the Post Office annual report make promising reading for fans flocking to Japan for the Rugby World Cup.

World detailed skyline. Vector illustration

Britons seeking bang for their buck would be well advised to visit Tokyo this winter, as new research has named it the long-haul destination offering best value for money.

The figures come courtesy of the 12th annual Post Office Travel Money Long Haul Holiday Report, produced in partnership with long-haul specialists Travelbag.

Here’s the good, the bad, and the ludicrously overpriced of the world’s furthest-flung destinations…

The rough with the smooth

Overall, the report paints a varied picture for long-haul holidaymakers.

Local prices have actually fallen in half of the 30 destinations surveyed, but the plummeting pound means that UK visitors will still be paying more than last year in three quarters of them.

Foreign currencies

“Even though sterling is weaker than last year against every long haul holiday currency,” says Nick Boden, head of Post Office Travel Money, “holidaymakers can still save themselves a lot of money by doing their holiday homework before booking.”

The rankings have been calculated using the Long Haul Holiday Report Barometer, which ranks destinations on the cost of a ‘shopping basket’ of tourist amenities, like sunscreen, insect repellent, a cup of coffee and a bottle of local lager.

Tokyo takes top spot

Tokyo has reclaimed the crown it lost in last year’s survey, edging out 2018 winner Cape Town, to be named the year’s best value far-flung destination. In excellent news for the rugby fans, the Japanese capital belied its reputation for costliness with rock bottom prices for beer, sunscreen, and Coca-Cola, and a favourable-ish exchange rate.

Tokyo skyline

Cape Town drops to second, despite continuing low prices, after the Rand strengthened 10% year-on-year against the pound. Beach paradise Bali clocks in at third for the second year running, despite a 13% rise in prices compared to last September.

Hoi An in Vietnam and Mombasa, Kenya, round out the top five, while Mexico, Sri Lanka and the United States snapped up spots in the top ten. And though it may only come in eighth overall, the Caribbean island of Antigua wins the prize for most improved player, with a whopping 28% drop in costs since 2018.

These idyllic islands are getting pricier 

At the other end of the scale, classic island idylls Barbados and the Seychelles found themselves rooted to the bottom of the pile. In Seychellois capital Mahé, the barometer’s goodie bag clocked in at £188, more than three times the price of top-ranked Tokyo.

The Seychelles

The biggest price-hike was in Phuket, Thailand, where rising local prices combined with a strong baht to create a real-terms 21% increase in costs for UK visitors. That leaves the perennial tourist favourite roughly 58% more expensive that Vietnam, and 64% pricier than Bali.

The UAE also picked up a hefty price tag – Dubai and Abu Dhabi snagged spots 27 and 28, mostly thanks to exceptionally expensive alcohol. Ironically, prices have actually fallen in both destinations since last year, but the Arab nation is still supremely expensive.

Here’s the list in full:

1. Tokyo, Japan
2. Cape Town, South Africa
3. Bali, Indonesia
4. Hoi An, Vietnam
5. Mombasa, Kenya
6. Colombo, Sri Lanka
7. Cancun, Mexico
8. St. John, Antigua
9. Orlando, USA
10. Penang, Malaysia
11. Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia
12. Grand Baie, Mauritius
13. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
14. Vancouver, Canada
15. Montego Bay, Jamaica

16. Tamarindo, Costa Rica
17. Delhi, India
18. Phuket, Thailand
19. Beijing, China
20. Scarborough, Tobago
21. Lima, Peru
22. Auckland, New Zealand
23. Darwin, Australia
24. China Town, Singapore
25. New York, USA
26. Santiago, Chile
27. Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE
28. Abu Dhabi, UAE
29. St. James, Barbados
30.  Mahé, Seychelles

© Press Association 2019