City of Sails - popular but costly

By Vaimoana Tapaleao

Auckland tops survey of 44 countries - but not in a good way. It costs $228 to buy items you'd pay $62 for in Bali.

New Zealand has been tipped as one of the hottest places to visit this year, among other popular getaways such as Bali, Croatia, Vietnam, Portugal and South Africa. Photo / Brett Phibbs
New Zealand has been tipped as one of the hottest places to visit this year, among other popular getaways such as Bali, Croatia, Vietnam, Portugal and South Africa. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Auckland shows up as one of the world's most expensive holiday destinations in a new survey.

But New Zealand has also been tipped as one of the hottest places to visit this year, among other popular getaways such as Bali, Croatia, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, Portugal and South Africa.

The Holiday Money Report, compiled by Britain's Post Office Travel Money group, reveals some of the world's cheapest and most expensive holiday spots.

Post Office is Britain's largest provider of foreign currency and its annual report is based on trends and currency shifts.

In a survey of 44 cities, Auckland was ranked as most expensive when buying a range of items such as a cup of coffee, a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, sunscreen and a three-course meal for two.

Overall, the British survey said, those items would cost £115.06 (NZ$228.62) in Auckland.

The cheapest price was £31.48 ($62.52) in Kuta, Bali.

Other cheap places to visit were Portugal, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Spain, Turkey and South Africa, where these items cost less than $85.

Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development tourism manager Jason Hill said the city billed itself as a top-quality holiday spot.

"Auckland doesn't profess to be a budget destination, but delivers on other aspects of visitor experiences and consistently ranks highly as a desirable place to visit," he said.

Post Office picked the top 10 holiday hotspots based on destination and flight developments, package prices, resort costs, exchange rates and demand.

New Zealand is among the top 10, which Post Office said was helped by stellar reviews for the latest Hobbit film, The Desolation of Smaug.

Tourism NZ corporate affairs general manager Chris Roberts said Post Office's report was encouraging.

British visitor numbers had slipped significantly in recent years but late last year there were signs of recovery, he said.

Auckland is ranked as the third-best lifestyle city in the world, according to the Mercer Global Lifestyle Index.

The city is also ranked one of the top 10 cities to visit in the world by the 2014 Lonely Planet Best in Travel guide.

- NZ Herald

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