Hanoi was top for offering the lowest costs, according to TripIndex Cities, an annual TripAdvisor cost comparison study.
Kuala Lumpur was the next best of the Asian destination in fourth place followed by Bangkok (fifth) and Bali (seventh).
When looking at the on-the-ground cost of a three-night city break, the 2016 TripIndex Cities report showed that travellers can find the best value in Asean, with four of the top 10 cheapest destinations located in the region.
However, three of the most expensive destinations are located in Asia; Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong. They were positioned second, sixth and seventh on the most expensive destinations list.
TripIndex Cities, conducted by independent research firm TNS, compares the cost of a three-night break during the summer months, June to September, in 20 key tourist cities worldwide, 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 US$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 US$497, while New York costs the most at almost US$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 TripAdvisor’s communications director for Asia Pacific, Janice Lee Fang.
“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.”
On average, accommodation costs make up around half of the in-destination costs of a break (52 per cent). 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% and 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 (US$236, US$255, US$258 for three nights) while the highest prices are found in New York, Cancun and London (US$1,107, US$988, US$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 (US$173, US$189 and US$225 over three days). At around three times higher, Hong Kong and Tokyo offer the highest prices for lunch and dinner at US$597 and US$473 respectively across a three-night break.
Taxi fares are also vastly different from destination to destination. The cost of a 3 km 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 US$7 while in New York, Tokyo and Rome, travellers will fork out US$108 to US$114.
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