According to TripIndex Cities, an annual TripAdvisor cost comparison study, Hanoi, Vietnam is the best value destination in the world for a city break.
TripIndex Cities, conducted by independent research firm TNS, compares 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 $986, 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 $497, while New York costs the most at almost $1,826, almost double the average.
“Nothing is more important to travellers than ensuring what you’ve planned for your holiday is worth the spend,” said Janice Lee Fang, TripAdvisor’s Communications Director for Asia Pacific. “Our booking rates on TripAdvisor show us that the average on-the-ground cost of staying in New York is almost the same as a full trip to Hanoi over the same dates including flights – making Hanoi the best value city for a quick break.”
Southeast 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 Southeast 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%.
Accommodation prices are lowest in Hanoi, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur ($236, $255, $258 for three nights) while the highest prices are found in New York, Cancun and London ($1,107, $988, $804 for three nights) – 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, Mumbai and Bali ($173, $189 and $225 over three days). At around three times higher, Hong Kong and Tokyo offer the highest prices for lunch and dinner at $597 and $473 respectively 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 $7 while in New York, Tokyo and Rome, travellers will fork out $108-$114.