LISBON BEATS SYDNEY, RIO, AND CAPETOWN IN CITY BREAK INDEXPublished on August 25th, 2010 by PressUK
Kelkoo ‘City Index’ independently ranks best worldwide city break destinations based on the 10 factors that matter most to UK holidaymakers 
- · Travel Priorities: 85% of Britons state that affordability is their number one city break holiday clincher, followed closely by security (81%), the weather (78%), and good food (77%)
- · Top City Break Destination: Based on value for money, climate, and other travel priorities, Lisbon in Portugal, ranks as the best city destination for UK travellers. Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro and Sydney come bottom
- · Best Climate: Athens has the best climate with average annual temperatures of 32°C and 12 hours of sunshine per day, whilst carnival capital Rio, ranks lowest with 21 days of rain per month on average and just 6 hours of sunshine a day
- · Value for Money: Rio, Sydney and Cape Town are among the least affordable city break destinations in the world, while Krakow, Istanbul and Lisbon offer the best value for money – ranking top for overall affordability
- · Security: Hong Kong is considered the safest destination with 4.3 policemen and only 12 crimes for every 1,000 people. Amsterdam fares worst with 144 crimes and just 2.2 police officers per thousand capita
- UK travel expenditure is expected to reach £41.1bn or £669 per person in 2010, a £1bn uplift compared to 2009
EMBARGOED UNTIL Wednesday 25th August 2010. As the August bank holiday fast approaches, many Britons will be scouring the internet hoping to take advantage of the last extended weekend before Christmas, by booking a last minute City break. To help with that all important decision, the ‘Kelkoo City Index’ released today, ranks the world’s 20 most visited city destinations based on the factors that matter most to British holidaymakers. According to the index, Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon, should be the number one city break destination for UK travellers this year, while Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Sydney (Australia), and Cape Town (South Africa) rank lowest. The index also predicts a more positive outlook for the travel sector in 2010, with UK travel expenditure forecast to reach £41.1bn or £669 per person, a modest £1bn increase (+2.4%) on 2009, when travel sales plummeted by £3.7bn (-8.4%).
The study, commissioned by Kelkoo, and conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, rated the world’s 20 most visited cities using official statistics to assess the performance of 10 key travel criteria, including: climate, security, local affordability of goods and services, quality of food, the cost of flights and accommodation, tourist attractions, and exchange rates. A YouGov survey of almost 2,300 adults was also conducted to ascertain the importance British holidaymakers placed on each factor, and the scores for each destination were then weighted accordingly to determine the ‘Kelkoo City Index’ rankings.
European cities dominate the top half of the rankings with Lisbon emerging as the top city destination, closely followed by Athens, Istanbul, and Barcelona. Each of these destinations boast many of the key attributes that UK travellers look for in the perfect city getaway – favourable exchange rates, good weather, and easy access from the UK, averaging a flight time of just 2.5 hours between them. Moreover, according to the index, these destinations fare well in the affordability stakes, the number one holiday consideration for today’s travellers. This summer, almost 9 out of 10 people (87%) claim prices at destination constitute the most important criteria when picking their perfect getaway, 86% deem the cost of accommodation and flights (82%) to be key, while 81% believe security is also a determining factor.
In ninth place, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia is the only non-European city destination to rank in the top half of the table. Despite flights being costly and having an unpredictable climate, the city boasts the cheapest overall prices for hotel accommodation (on average 35% lower than in the UK), as well as offering travellers the lowest prices at destination. For those Britons looking for a taste of ‘the bright lights’ a little closer to home, London gets a respectable 8th place in the rankings. Although it has a poorer climate and may offer less value for money than some of its southern European counterparts – it scores highly on the cultural and tourist attractions it has to offer.
Scoring lowest overall are Sydney (20th), and Rio de Janeiro (19th) due to low overall affordability scores which force them down to the bottom of the table. Cape Town in South Africa, one of the most talked about cities of the summer, only manages 18th place, as it performs poorly on key categories like value for money and security.
Bruce Fair, Managing Director of Kelkoo UK, comments: “In the current climate, British holidaymakers seem to be more cost-conscious than ever, and the trend for taking shorter but more frequent breaks is still proving popular. The extended August bank holiday weekend presents the perfect opportunity for a city getaway, and those hoping to secure a last minute deal might do well to consider Lisbon. Whilst Portugal’s capital may not be renowned for the romance of Paris or the glamour of New York, Lisbon appears to fit the bill most closely when it comes to delivering against the criteria that matter most to today’s holidaymakers – value for money, great climate and security.”
Kelkoo City Index Rankings – Overall Scores:
Value for Money is King…
On an affordability scale of 1-100 (100 being the cheapest), including factors such as airfares, accommodation costs and prices at destination, Krakow in Poland ranks first for value for money scoring 77 out of 100, followed by Istanbul (79) and Lisbon (75). British tourists can expect to find reasonably priced accommodation at these destinations with hotels costing up to 28% less than in the UK on average. Tourists can also pick up good deals on airfares, with return flights to Krakow or Lisbon priced at £40 and £110 respectively. In stark contrast, Sydney ranks as the most expensive city destination, scoring just 29 out of 100, with return flights costing £961 on average, while Rio de Janeiro follows closely behind (31 out of 100), and Cape Town also scores low in this category (32).
Bruce Fair concludes: “Given the clear emphasis placed by consumers on the overall affordability of holiday getaways, it will come as welcome news that eurozone cities, always popular with British travellers, have become much more affordable in recent months due to the pound’s rally against the euro. With around 18% more spending power in the eurozone than a mere 18 months ago, consumers are now able to get almost €1.22 as opposed to €1.02 for every pound they spend. For example, a hotel in Paris priced at £204 a night back in December 2008, would now cost just £172 – making the city break budget go a good deal further!”
Sun, Security and Culture
After cost considerations, the most important holiday criteria for consumers are security (81%) and climate (78%), which rank 4th and 5th on their priority list; surprisingly tourist attractions only take 7th place (65%) out of a possible 10.
Hong Kong is the most secure city destination with 12 crimes committed and 4.3 policemen on average per 1,000 people, while Amsterdam ranks bottom with 144 crimes and just 2.2 police officers per 1,000 people. In terms of climate, Athens in Greece comes out on top, with hardly any rain, an average of 12 hours of sunshine per day and temperatures averaging 32°C. For those looking for the best cultural experience, Athens comes top of the sightseeing spots with 1.5 heritage sites per 1 million people, and Lisbon takes second place (1.2 sites per 1 million people). Singapore and Hong Kong rank bottom in the cultural rankings.
UK Travel Outlook
The Kelkoo Travel Index also predicts a more positive outlook for the UK travel sector in 2010. Travel expenditure is expected to reach £41.1bn or £669 per person in 2010, a modest £1bn increase on 2009, when travel sales plummeted by -8.4% or £3.7bn since pre-recession 2008. Online travel bookings are also set to continue their recession-busting performance, having soared by 18.5% from 13bn to £15.6bn between 2008 and 2009, and to an estimated £17.6bn by the end of 2010 – a 13% rise on last year and equivalent to 42.8% of all UK travel expenditure.
Kelkoo has recently introduced new improvements to its one-stop-shop travel service which compares prices from over 100 airlines for flights to thousands of destinations worldwide, and provides listings for more than 140,000 hotels across 10,000 locations. Search results are now delivered faster than ever before, dynamic filtering allows users to better customise their searches, and new travel guides have been introduced. Visit www.travel.kelkoo.co.uk for more information.
For further information please contact:
Lizzi Malley, UK PR Manager, Kelkoo
Tel: (0) 203 402 9452
Mobile: (0)782 7240498
Cristina Rebollo, PR Director, Kelkoo
Tel: +44 (0)203 4029 446
Mobile: +44 (0)7796 540645
The Red Consultancy
Tel: +44 (0)207 025 6603
Notes to Editors:
- All data taken from ‘Kelkoo Holiday Index’ report, commissioned by Kelkoo and carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, May 2010. The report rated UK travellers’ 20 most popular city destinations and ranked them to create an independent index. In stage one an independent consumer survey was conducted (by YouGov) to establish consumers’ 10 most important holiday criteria. In stage two, official statistics were used to assess how different holiday locations performed in the 10 areas identified. Scores were then weighted according to importance derived from the primary consumer research survey.
Official statistics used:
- Average Temperature (Jan to July): http://www.weather2travel.com/
- Sunshine Hours (Jan to July): http://www.weather2travel.com/
- Days with Rain (Jan to July): http://www.weather2travel.com/
- Summer Time Zones: www.happyzebra.com
- Security Statistics: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention 10th Survey
- Heritage Sites: UNESCO
- Population Figures: Eurostat
- Flight Times: http://www.happyzebra.com/distance-calculator/from-London.php
- Prices at destination: Big Mac Index, The Economist
- Price of Accommodation: Eurostat/OECD
Data Table for key travel criteria:
- YouGov consumer survey: the survey asked a representative sample of 2,229 UK adults on the importance of 10 key factors when choosing a holiday. In order to calculate a % for overall affordability, an average of the results for price level at destination, cost of accommodation, and cost of flight was taken. This average was 85%.
|Consumer Research (YouGov)||% of consumers that rate factors as important|
|Price level at destination||87%|
|Cost of Accommodation||86%|
|Cost of Flight||82%|
|Quality of food||77%|
|Length of flight||41%|
- Consumers are now able to get 1.2171 euros for every pound, (rate on 16th August 2010), compared with just 1.0272 when the pound sunk to an all time low against the euro (31st December 2008), spending power has essentially increased by 18.5%.
- Source Kelkoo:
A – Paris hotel room price in December 2008 = £203.87
B – €/£ Exchange rate 16/08/2010 = 1.2171
C – €/£ Exchange rate 31/12/2008 = 1.0272
D – Paris hotel room in July 2010 = £172.06
A x (C/B) = D