TripAdvisor recently commissioned TNS to conduct its annual TripIndex Cities study, its annual cost comparison study to measure the cost of a three-night break during the summer travel period of June to September in 20 key tourist cities around the world, taking into account typical in-destination costs for two people. These include; a four-star hotel for three nights, a visit to three attractions, lunch each day, a taxi to and from dinner each day, plus the cost of dinner itself.
The study found that the average price for a short break across the 20 cities is 6,476 yuan, excluding flights, with prices varying significantly from the least to the most expensive. Hanoi is the lowest cost destination with a break costing less than £3,267 yuan, while New York costs the most at almost 12,009 yuan, double the average.
Hong Kong ranks the seventh most expensive destination with a total cost of 7,463 yuan. The unique advantage of a trip to Hong Kong is the free entry to its attractions. The research team said all of the most popular attractions in Hong Kong were free of charge which meant that the total average cost for attractions in Hong Kong was calculated as 0.
Asia offers best value
When looking at the on-the-ground cost of a three-night city break, the 2016 TripIndex Cities report shows that travellers can find the best value in Asia, with four of the top ten cheapest destinations located within South East Asia; Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Bali take first, fourth, fifth and seventh places respectively.
However, travellers must be destination conscious when selecting Asia, as three of the most expensive destinations are also located in this part of the world. Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong are revealed as the second, sixth and seventh most expensive destinations respectively.
City break cost breakdown – what makes up the total price?
On average, accommodation costs make up around half of the in-destination costs of a break (52%). However, when it comes to the highest price destinations, accommodation makes up more of the total - particularly in New York, Paris and Cancun (61%, 61%, 71%).
In contrast, visitors to the lowest cost destinations can expect to spend less on accommodation with a higher share of their in-destination budget going on eating out. For example, in Hanoi and Kuala Lumpur, 50% of the travel budget goes on eating out, while in Bangkok, it’s 54%.
Key report findings
• Accommodation prices are lowest in Hanoi (1,553 yuan), Bangkok (1,680 yuan) and Kuala Lumpur (1,697 yuan) for three nights while the highest prices are found in New York (7,276 yuan), Cancun (6,496 yuan) and London (5,286 yuan) – around four times greater than in the cheapest cities.
• When it comes to eating out, travellers can get the best value for lunch and dinner in Cape Town (1,139 yuan), Mumbai (1,240 yuan) and Bali (1,477 yuan) over three days. At around three times higher, Tokyo (3,924 yuan) and Hong Kong (3,693 yuan) offer the highest prices for lunch and dinner across a three-night break.
• Prices to visitor attractions vary significantly, with some destinations predominantly offering free entrance attractions such as Hong Kong, Hanoi and Tokyo where just 1% or less of trip spend is made up of attraction costs, compared with other destinations where attractions are a larger part of the overall cost such as Moscow where on average, 14% of trip spend goes on visiting attractions.
• Like the cost of attractions, taxi fares are also vastly different from destination to destination. The cost of a 3km return taxi journey in the higher priced destinations is around 16 times more expensive than the lowest price destinations. A return taxi journey in Bali will set a traveller back 49 yuan while in New York, Tokyo and Rome, travellers will fork out 700 – 750 yuan.
TripIndex Cities at a glance
From the least expensive to the most expensive (green and red indicate least and most expensive destinations for each item respectively):
The cheapest cities:
The most expensive cities:
Source: Kantar TNS