Why Asian Travel Is More Affordable Than Ever
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According to the recent TripIndex Asia Report, published by TripAdvisor, travel to the most popular destinations in Asia is much cheaper this year compared to last year. The report says that, on average, the overall cost of traveling to Asian cities from the US has decreased 12 percent year-over-year. TripAdvisor also projects that travelers will be able to save as much as 32 percent if they travel to the Far East within the next six months.
Falling travel prices in most Asian destinations
The survey measured the projected cost of traveling to 20 major Asian cities from now through April of 2016. It took into account the cost of airfare from the U.S., a week-long stay in a hotel and other general travel costs.
Not every one of the cities that was surveyed was cheaper than it was during last year’s high season. However, 18 of the 20 had lower prices overall compared to 2014-2015. New Delhi’s week-long trip prices rose 4 percent, while Beijing’s were up 5 percent. All the other cities in the report had lower average prices.
Southeast Asia has the biggest savings
Southeast Asia, which is popular during the winter season because of its pleasantly warm weather and beaches, saw the biggest price drops. The average cost for a one-week trip to Singapore dropped more than $600. A 2015 vacation in the city-state is 21 percent cheaper than it was in 2014. Kuala Lumpur, often considered a cheaper alternative to Singapore, saw a 26 percent decrease in average costs. This year’s KL stats are eye-catching for budget-minded travelers. Hotel rooms in the Malaysian metropolis now cost less than $50 per night, on average.
KL boasted the cheapest hotel rates on the entire survey, although two Vietnamese cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, both came close at $50 and $56 per night respectively. Chiang Mai and Bangkok hotels were in the $60-$70 range.
A quick scan of the TripIndex report reveals that only one destination saw its average airfares drop below the $1,000 mark (round trip from the US). Jakarta had its air travel prices drop to around $940. The average one-week trip price decreased by 32 percent for Indonesia's capital, a bigger drop than any of the other 19 cities on the list.
Not every place is as cheap as you’d expect
In well-known travel destinations, where demand is high, prices have not dropped as much. For example, the average cost of a hotel in Seminyak, Bali is, at $172, more than the average price of a room in Tokyo, Hong Kong or Singapore.
East Asian cities that are usually known for being expensive are, well, still expensive. Tokyo, Hong Kong, Osaka and Seoul all saw minimal changes compared to 2014. All were within 5 percent of their 2014 averages.
For big cities in Southeast Asia, this year is really the “sweet spot” as far as travel costs go. If fuel prices rise, airfares will go up, and hotel rates could also skyrocket if demand increases. Until the middle of next year, though, people traveling to Southeast Asia can score some significant savings.
More by Josh Lew
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