Holiday money goes further

The Algarve
The Algarve

MANY Wigan holidaymakers will pay less for food and drink when they go abroad this year, according to new research.

A study found that prices for people exchanging pounds for local currency had fallen at more than half of 44 worldwide destinations surveyed.

Portugal’s Algarve was found to be the cheapest location for holidaymakers, while Cape Town in South Africa had the lowest prices for long-haul travellers.

The strength of sterling and increasing competition were believed to be key factors in the trend.

Research commissioned by Post Office Travel Money calculated the cost of eight typical tourist purchases at each location.

They were: a cup of coffee, a bottle of local beer, a can of Coca-Cola, a glass of wine, a bottle of mineral water, suncream, a packet of cigarettes and a three-course evening meal for two.

The total bill in the Algarve was found to be the equivalent of £29.32, down 18% on last year. A glass of wine was £1.14 while a meal would set couples back £16.77.

The Bulgarian resort of Sunny Beach came in second place, with the same eight goods costing £29.49.

Prices in Spain’s Costa del Sol had risen to £35.61. This put the destination in fourth place and widened the gap between it and the top two from £1 last year to over £6.

Cape Town was one of only two long-haul locations to make the top 10.

The weakness of the rand compared to sterling in recent months meant UK holidaymakers paid £34.55 for tourist essentials in the city.

But there was no such good news for transatlantic travellers as the dominant dollar had had a negative effect on the prices tourists would pay in the US.

Orlando (£68.54) had emerged as the best value, although prices there were up almost 9% on last year. Boston was the least expensive of the four US city break destinations surveyed, at £79.88.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “If sterling continues to hold its value, UK holidaymakers will have plenty of choice in the coming year. In Europe the best deals are likely to be in Portugal and Bulgaria, where increased competition to attract tourists has resulted in lower prices for tourist staples.

“Once the exchange rate is factored in, tourists should see their spending costs shrink.”