Friday 20 April 2018

Mind the gap: dearest and cheapest cities for business visits

Sleeping rough might be the order of the day in Sydney, where one night in a five-star hotel can cost a crippling $874. Photo: Deposit
Sleeping rough might be the order of the day in Sydney, where one night in a five-star hotel can cost a crippling $874. Photo: Deposit

Patrick Edwards

Irish business travellers and expat workers take note: take plenty of cash for Zurich, don't lose your smartphone in Brazil, avoid renting a car in the UK, never smoke in Sydney, and let someone else buy the beer in Singapore.

Deutsche Bank might be tagged as an institution better known for economic analyses and sober forecasts, but the German giant has an uber fun side too.

Over the last five years the bank has been providing insights into the world's cheapest - and budget-crippling - cities.

Its latest report, Mapping the World's Prices 2016 - has been dubbed the Sin City index, as it lists not just hotel prices, but what you'll fork out for a beer, cigarette or a date night abroad.

Its Weekend Getaway index is sobering. Deutsche Bank calculates it as two nights' stay at a five-star hotel, two pub meals for a couple, two restaurant dinners for a couple, car rentals for two days, two pints of beer, four litres of soft drinks and the purchase of a pair of jeans and a pair of sports shoes. Zurich comes in at a jaw-dropping $2,475, followed closely by Sydney.

London's third ($2,226), while New York only makes seventh place ($1,763).

So if a weekend business trip is on the cards, make sure it's to the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, where the same experience will cost a mere $688.

Southern Asia is a steal too - with Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore all under $1,000.

Losing a smartphone abroad is a nightmare, but the price of a replacement in some cities will add insult to injury. The survey says an iPhone 6S will set you back $1,164 in Brazil.

While your weekend break has been a steal in India, it's not the place for a phone, with a new iPhone 6S costing $935.

It's one of the few areas where the US wins out - at just $707 for the same model phone.

While the bank notes that the rise of Uber has pushed down taxi fares, there's still a massive difference between cities for a five-mile journey on a business day.

The meter will hit $32.3 in Zurich, $29.5 in Stockholm, followed closely by Tokyo.

Surprisingly, London's only at $16.1, while the cheapest cities are all in India, with the fare in Bangalore a mere $2.3.

Sleeping rough might be the order of the day in Sydney, where one night in a five-star hotel can cost a crippling $874 - or 181pc the price of New York, which is hardly a budget business destination.

In the Eurozone, Milan's got the steepest prices ($698.5), followed closely by London ($672.1). At the other end of the scale, Brussels is just $242.3, while the Canadian cities of Montreal and Toronto are both under the $300 mark too.

Amsterdam is at the top end for public transport ($3.32 for a single ride), with the cheapest cities again in India, with the Chinese capital of Beijing, Mexico City and Moscow all offering value. Despite their outgoing reputation, Aussies don't do well in the 'Sin Index'. Defined as the price of five beers and two packs of cigarettes, it'll set you back $66.9 in first-placed Melbourne and $61.6 in Sydney (7th). Hedonism's best in Manila ($11.6) and Johannesburg ($14).

There's even a Cheap Date index, with the cost of wooing (taxi, dinner, drinks and movie tickets) costing $201 in Zurich, and $173.4 in Copenhagen.

For a cheap date, head to India, Indonesia, the Philippines and South Africa.

As the report's author, Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid, jokes: "You can have at least four dates for the price of one in Zurich but please don't tell the other three people."

Irish Independent

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