Spanish Dining Costs Fall 50% in Five Years

Spain and Sri Lanka have come out equal cheapest of 42 destinations surveyed in the latest Post Office Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer.

The Barometer collates the cost of eight items: a cup of coffee; bottle of local beer; can of Coca-Cola; glass of wine; 1.5L bottle of mineral water; 200ml bottle of SPF15 sun cream; packet of 20 Marlboro Lights; and a three-course evening meal for two adults with a bottle of house wine.

At £36.14 for the eight, Spain and Sri Lanka's holiday costs were less than half those of 21 other destinations and a quarter of the cost in Australia (£145.28) and South Korea (£146.93), the most expensive countries surveyed.

Spain was helped by low meal prices, with eating out now around 50% cheaper than five years ago.

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Andrew Brown, Post Office head of travel money, said: ‘There are growing signs that UK holidaymakers now check the value of sterling and the costs they face in overseas resorts before booking.

‘The destinations which benefited last year were those where the power of the pound put more money in the pocket or where the price of meals and drinks meant holiday cash stretched further – and often a combination of the two. We expect to see the same pattern emerging in 2013.'

Third cheapest was the Czech Republic at £39.17, followed by Indonesia (£40.47), Vietnam (£43.20), Bulgaria (£45.10), Portugal (£45.54), Mexico (£48.93), Hungary (£51.45) and Turkey (£52.89).

Turkey returned to the top ten cheapest countries for the first time since 2008 after meal prices tumbled 22%. As a result of this and a stable exchange rate, Turkey's total cost is 16% lower than last year.

Brown added: ‘Turkey had a tough year in 2012 because of reduced flight capacity from the UK. However, the country has a well-deserved value for money reputation and the drop in visitor numbers last year resulted in healthy competition between restaurants and bars.

‘Provided resort costs remain at their current levels and sterling holds its value, there will be plenty for holidaymakers to look forward to visiting Turkey this year.'

The biggest fall in costs among the European countries studied came in Greece, with an 18% decline to £57.50, making it 14th cheapest overall.

Once a Barometer top ten regular, Thailand has now dropped to 16th (£58.31), with rising resort prices meaning tourists can expect to pay 22% more this year than last.

Post Office Travel Money also identified ten hotspots for 2013, based on the strength of sterling versus their currency, low resort costs and airline competition keeping fares down. They are: Brazil, Croatia, eastern European cities, Mauritius, Mexico, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

Click here to see a table of the costs in the 42 destinations and here to see the full Holiday Money Report 2012/13.

Source: e-tid

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