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Chapter 2: Price Changes in Global City Destinations

Get a step up on spa tourism in Anguilla

Maldives is worth every penny

Nothing says adventure like volcano hiking in Costa Rica

The pristine beaches of Turks and Caicos

Forget Frugal, Go Lavish with Luxury Locales

Maldives, a celebrity favorite, remains at the top of the list of most expensive countries for travel in the first half of 2012. This chic beach paradise has been hard at work building some 50-plus new resorts over the last four years, which is a likely contributing factor to its $105 jump in average daily hotel rates in 2012 so far.

Despite a 5% decrease overall, French Polynesia still remains a major player on the luxury travel scene with not one, but two, cities in the Top 10 Most Expensive Cities list. Nevertheless, it’s unclear how much staying power the country and its cities will have in the coming months as sky-rocketing fuel prices associated with getting to this far, far away fantasy land pose. But one can always dream!

For the second year in a row, hotel prices in Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are up by double digit percentages. What’s more, the country’s most populous city, Providenciales, makes its debut on the most expensive cities list at number five, recovering from its fall to $248 in 2008. With new airport plans, this hot spot will be even more accessible.

Even as other typically popular Caribbean destinations are seeing reductions in tourist activity, Turks and Caicos is enjoying the second highest increase in arrivals (10%) in the region, according to BQCS International Market Trend Report, as reported by leading Caribbean newspaper, The Nassau Guardian.

Another breakthrough city making its debut on the Top 10 Most Expensive Cities list in 2012 is Papagayo, Costa Rica. Across the Caribbean Sea, Soufriere, St. Lucia, which was number 10 last year, made a surprising leap to number two this year. The rising trend in adventure travel is a very probable cause for the sudden surge in popularity of these two cities. Both are well-known for thrilling excursions from snorkeling to volcano hiking, which has been officially noted as a “hot trend” by Sherman’s Travel.

On the flip side, spa tourism is a trend that will forever be associated with luxury travel. The new poster country of relaxation is a small island called Anguilla that has been making its way on to the top destinations lists of travel authorities like Conde Nast Traveler, The Huffington Post Travel Section and The Travel Channel all year long.

The World's Most Expensive Countries (by greatest price)

Rank Country 2011 2012 YoY ADR
1. Maldives $435 $540 24%
2. French Polynesia $427 $404 -5%
3 Turks and Caicos Islands $353 $403 14%
4. Anguilla $310 $380 23%
5. Bermuda $354 $342 -3%

The World's Most Expensive Cities (by greatest price)

Rank City 2011 2012 YoY ADR
1. Bora Bora, French Polynesia $802 $732 -9%
2. Soufriere, St. Lucia $418 $496 19%
3. Moorea, French Polynesia $510 $450 -12%
4. Paradise Island, Bahamas $436 $420 -4%
5. Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands $353 $404 14%
6. Vieques, Puerto Rico $431 $366 -15%
7. Santa Margherita, Italy $405 $362 -11%
8. Southampton, Bermuda $394 $362 -8%
9. Papagayo, Costa Rica $299 $354 19%
10. St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands $350 $345 -2%