British tourists will now pay up to 21 per cent less for goods in a number of countries around the world compared to a year, according to a new report.
In good news for bargain hunters, the price of tourist essentials has plummeted in nearly half of resorts and cities abroad, with holiday destinations in Singapore and St Lucia seeing the biggest drops, the Post Office Travel Money report shows.
It analysed 42 destinations in the last year, including 12 European locations – six of which have seen costs fall.
Bargain hunt: The Caribbean island of St Lucia has seen one of the biggest drops in local prices
The report analyses the prices of eight items – a three course meal for two with wine, cup of coffee, bottle of local beer, can of Coca-Cola, glass of wine, bottle of still water, suncream and insect repellent – which were selected as items that tourists are most likely to buy on a foreign holiday.
The Post Office added up these items, compiling a total price for each country in December of last year and compared them to prices for the same time in 2017, with a January exchange rate applied.
Prices in China Town, Singapore have dropped the most since last year, falling 21.5 per cent – making a total barometer basket cost of £120.66, down from £153.72 in 2018.
This drop is thought to be down to local market forces, such as increased competition.
It was followed by Montego Bay in St Lucia, which saw a reduction of 19.6 per cent, creating a basket total of £80.09 – down from £105.53 last year.
The island of St Lucia proved to be much cheaper for the goods than other Caribbean destinations including Antigua, Barbados, Jamaica and Tobago.
Plummet: China Town in Singapore saw the biggest drop in prices for tourists – a massive 21.5%
However, figures released by the Post Office suggest that 2018 was a good year for all of the Caribbean islands, reporting strong sales for the currencies.
The Jamaican dollar recorded a 29 per cent increase from the year previously, making it the second fastest growing currency in 2018.
Barbados also came just behind in third place, with sales of its dollar seeing a hike of 16 per cent.
Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian city, had the third biggest drop in prices in goods for tourists
Rio de Janeiro had the third biggest drop in prices, as they fell 19.5 per cent, with tourists paying a total of £111.19, down from £138.59 in 2018.
The sharp rise in the value of sterling against the Brazilian real is the main factor for prices plummeting in the Brazilian capital.
Three other European locations also saw a significant year-on-year reductions, include Sliema, Malta, which was down nine per cent to £71.41, Nice, France, down 13.7 per cent to £91.86 and Corfu, Greece, down 7.8 per cent to £96.06.
On the other end of the scale, the most expensive of the 12 European destinations analysed was Sorrento, Italy, with a price increase of 30 per cent, coming in at £119.03 – twice as high as the top three cheapest locations.
Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money, said: ‘It is good news that prices are down in many destinations this year, but it is still very important to be aware of the huge variation in costs we found across the 42 countries surveyed.
‘For example, barometer costs in the six cheapest resorts and cities are less than half those in the 15 priciest destinations.
‘That’s why we advise holidaymakers to draw up a destination shortlist and do their homework by comparing the prices for meals, drinks and other tourist items before booking.’
Strong performance: Sterling has seen biggest gains against currencies such as the lira, real and rand
For holidaymakers who are on budget but also looking to go a bit further afield, Cape Town could be an option.
The South African city has overtaken Japan as the cheapest long haul option for 2019 after attracting an increasing number of UK visitors due to its low cost of living and favourable exchange rate.
The total cost of goods have dropped by almost nine per cent to just £50.23, further building on the drop of 16 per cent last year.
Biggest growers: Indonesia has grown in popularity as a holiday destination
Bali and Mombasa, Kenya were also long haul destinations that entered into the best value top 10.
Bali just pipped Hoi An, Vietnam to take 10th place, with only three pence in it.
The Indonesian resort had a basket total of £69.49, as opposed to Hoi An at £69.52, reaping the benefits of a weak currency and cheap local prices.
There has been a 483 per cent surge in currency sales over the past decade, on the back of the Indonesian rupiah falling 18 per cent against the sterling in the last 10 years.
This is a clear sign that tourists are becoming increasingly aware that the value comes from choosing destinations where the sterling is strong and local prices are low.
Mombasa also rose from 13th place to number seven this year, with a sharp fall of 16.3 per cent, now totalling £55.87.
The Kenyan shilling is one of the currencies that has strengthened the most against sterling, meaning that competitive pricing in the hospitality industry for tourists is the reason for its rise in position.
Best value destinations of 2019
Three European beach destinations made up the top three for the best value destinations, according to the Post Office report.
Sunny Beach in Bulgaria has taken the top spot for the second year running.
The Black Sea resort has seen a fall of five per cent since last year – this means that it reaches a total of only £36.03.
The resort was the focus of a Channel 4 documentary ‘What Happens in Sunny Beach’ in 2014, following young UK tourists who travelled to the destination to enjoy the cheap alcohol and nightlife.
Sunny Beach in Bulgaria has been voted the best value holiday destination yet again
Marmaris, Turkey’s most popular resort, came second out of the three European beach destinations with prices in the tourist resort dropping to £45.23 – a fall of 18.7 per cent since last year.
One of the reasons for this is the well-documented volatility of the lira. It took the top spot as the fastest growing currency, with sales up 96 per cent year-on-year.
The Post Office reported that lira sales surged 368 per cent compared with August 2017, leading to an overall 2018 sale rise of 96 per cent.
It also came fourth on the list of the Post Office’s bestselling currencies, rising from ninth place last year.
Andrew Brown adds: ‘Short travel times will always give European destinations an inbuilt advantage and, despite speculation that rising prices would put UK holidaymakers off travelling to the continent, strong currency sales for the euro, Turkish lira, Bulgarian lev and Croatian kuna over the past year underline the fact that Europe remains the destination of choice for most people.
‘However, the stampede for Turkish holiday packages seen last summer sends a clear message that holidaymakers will be looking carefully to see where they can get the most bang for their buck and may be prepared to swap destination for a cheaper deal.’
Portugal’s Algarve, a past winner, rounded off the top three, with a total basket of £50.11 – an increase of 13.2 per cent from 2018.
Last year, it was voted as the third cheapest holiday destination at a total of £44.25.