Portugal is cheapest holiday destination

By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]

Predictions that the Algarve will experience increased levels of tourism during 2011 have been backed up by the latest Post Office holiday barometer, which declares Portugal to be “The best value worldwide”.

Previous reports have shown that prices in the Algarve have dropped in response to the financial crisis in a bid to attract cash-strapped holiday makers looking for two weeks in the sun and the Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer 2011 by the Post Office backs up those findings.

The barometer monitors the price of eight popular tourist items, including a three-course meal for two, sun cream and refreshments, with Portugal coming out as the cheapest place in the world to go on holiday.

Sarah Munro, Post Office head of Travel Money, told the Algarve Resident: “Families looking for the best value in Europe will get more for their money in Portugal. Falling resort costs and a 7.4% rise in Sterling’s value against the Euro saw prices fall by 49% year on year, making it the cheapest in the 2011 Post Office Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer.”

The barometer compared the purchase of a cup of coffee, a bottle of local beer, a can of Coca Cola, 1.5 litres of water, suncream, insect repellent, a pack of 20 Marlboro Lights cigarettes and a three-course meal with house wine for two adults.

The total value for the eight items on the barometer comes to £32.84 for Portugal, with the Algarve used as the basis for the survey, nearly €4 less than the next cheapest destination of Spain and half the price of the items bought in Sorrento in Italy.

Sarah Munro added: “Over the past two years, the popular resorts in the Algarve have suffered badly from a drop in UK visitors, who have been put off by the prospect of higher costs because of the weak Pound.

“Restaurants and bars have responded to this by slashing their prices in a battle for business, while competition between Portugal and Spain combined with the improving exchange rate has resulted in a price crash in Portugal.”

The report by the Post Office not only shows Portugal to be the best value destination of Europe but also the world with 36 countries now included in the barometer including countries in Latin America, Africa and the Far East.

The most expensive country was found to be Australia where the items on the list total £157.51, while other countries, traditionally associated with cheap prices, were also more expensive including Malaysia where the cost is now £47.68 and Brazil where the items cost £87.73.