Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New York 'most expensive' for UK visitors

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New York City has been revealed as the most expensive city for UK holidaymakers by a new Virgin Money Weekend Break Survey.

The popular destination topped a league table of standard costs based on a two-day break, while those looking for value in their holidays are advised to head to Bangkok. Thailand's capital was revealed as the most economic destination.

Analysis measured five variables - the costs of car rental, four star accommodation, a Big Mac, Virgin Money travel insurance cover for the duration of the trip and entry to a popular sightseeing attraction - in 20 cities around the world, for two people.

The research excluded the cost of air travel to focus on the costs that matter to tourists when they are on holiday and converted all costs into sterling in order to assess the true cost for British tourists looking to visit for a weekend break.

New York emerges as the most expensive of all, with visitors having to fork out £527.44 just for two nights while in Bangkok the cost would be just £141.25 – an incredible 3.5 times cheaper.

Milan and Moscow came in second and third in the league table of most expensive cities to visit with London way down the rankings at ninth. Researchers found the UK capital was £162.44 cheaper than a weekend away in New York.

Grant Bather of Virgin Money Travel Insurance said: "City breaks are big business now and our research shows you don’t have to break the bank when you’re on holiday.

"While going further afield might feel more expensive, tourists can recoup a lot of extra expense because of the value for money in cities once you arrive. A two-night stay in Milan is over three times more expensive than in Bangkok."

The Virgin Money Weekend Break Survey included cities from the world’s major tourist destinations.

The launch results showed that Paris, Tokyo and Cape Town all sat comfortably in mid-table, with car rental costs coming in at under half that of Beijing.

Prague and Dublin – popular with stag and hen weekends - were surprisingly cheap, with tourists able to spend two nights in the cities for under £250.