TripAdvisor™, the world’s largest travel site*, today unveils TripIndex Island Sun 2013, the first ever cost comparison of a day out and overnight stay for two people in twelve key island holiday destinations around Southeast Asia.
The TripAdvisor TripIndex Island Sun is based on the combined costs for two people of a one night stay in a four-star hotel, a two-course meal with coconut juice, beers, massage as well as rental of bicycles and snorkel equipment. Costs listed are accurate for the period of 16 September to 3 October 2013.
The most affordable island for a day out and an overnight stay for Australian travellers is Cebu in the Philippines with a total TripIndex cost of AU$309.19, while Bali takes second place with AU$325.08. At nearly three times the cost, Singapore’s Sentosa Island tops the list as most expensive with a TripIndex cost of AU$912.87, followed by Langkawi, Malaysia which totals AU$594.46.
“In light of the upcoming year-end holiday season, TripIndex Island Sun helps travellers identify where their money goes the furthest,” commented TripAdvisor spokesperson, Jean Ow-Yeong. “The list shows that the Cebu, Philippines is the most affordable island destination, while Singapore’s Sentosa Island is most expensive. The biggest driver of costs is the price of hotels, followed by a massage for two.”
Hotels hike up costs but rental of bicycle and snorkel gear cause of biggest disparity
While the cost of a hotel stay is the most expensive of the TripIndex basket items, the biggest disparity in costs between the least and most expensive destinations lies with the rental of bicycles and snorkel equipment. At a cost of AU$124.38 for the rental of bicycles, Singapore is almost twenty-five times more expensive than Vietnam’s Phu Quoc Island (AU$5.05). Snorkel equipment rental is not available in Singapore, but the rental of two kayaks costs AU$139.72 and is thirty-four times the cost of the most affordable snorkel equipment rental on Thailand’s Koh Phi Phi Don (AU$4.08).
The least expensive average hotel room is priced at AU$134.63 in Penang, Malaysia, while the most expensive, at nearly three times the cost, is in Palawan, the Philippines, at AU$363.21 per night.
Philippines and Indonesia offer best value for money
In general, islands in the Philippines and Indonesia provide the best value for money, with Cebu and Boracay in the Philippines, and Indonesia’s Bali and Bintan laying claim to four out of five of the most affordable destinations. Although Singapore’s Sentosa Island is the most expensive island in the region, coming out tops in all categories except hotel costs, the Malaysian islands of Langkawi and Penang were not too far down the list coming in second and fourth most expensive in the list.
TripIndex Island Sun (Southeast Asia)
 Includes Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.