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With the year's Olympics less than a month away, how much will it cost travelling sport fans once they get to London?

Thursday, 12 July 2012 10:48

London, 12 July 2012: Australians heading to London for this year's Olympics can expect to find cost of living around 18% cheaper than at home according to ECA International, the world’s leader in the development and provision of solutions for the management and assignment of employees around the world. The continued strength of the Australian dollar against the pound is contributing to savings that would not have been witnessed had the games been held in the English capital at the time of the previous Games, four years ago.


Tokyo is the most expensive city in the world so it comes as no surprise that Japanese visitors will see the biggest savings. They can expect to spend almost 28% less on average in central London on a typical basket of goods and services than they would at home.

While Chinese visitors will hope to see their nation win the most medals once again, they’ll be less excited at the prospect of living costs being 10% higher in the English capital than at home.

Of the top 20 countries to secure the most medals at the Beijing Olympics four years ago supporters from Poland and Belarus will find costs in London the most expensive compared with home. They can anticipate having to spend around 45% more while away. Prices may well increase during the Olympic period so cost differences may be even greater.

Win or lose, Australian followers heading to London can look forward to getting three beers (500ml) in a London pub for the price of two at home while canned beers from the supermarket are half the price of those purchased in Australia. Unfortunately these can’t be brought into the Olympic Park where supporters should expect to pay over 6 USD for a 330ml bottle of beer.

Beer drinking supporters from Poland may be less impressed – they should expect to pay almost 80% more than they would in a pub than at home.

If all the beer leads to a ‘headache’ the next morning, pain tablets are around 20% more expensive in London than when purchased in Australia, so anyone travelling over to Europe for the games would do well to pack these in advance. There will be no problem drinking plenty of bottled water – this can be purchased in the capital for a third of the price at home. Soft drinks bought at a supermarket are over 40% cheaper. Eating out is also generally cheaper than back in Australia. A take away meal will cost around 6 per cent less while those in search of dinner in a smart restaurant could save around 15 per cent on the bill.

To access graphs comparing cost of living with London and ECA’s Olympic Beer Index click here.

Free downloadable report: Global Perspectives – Cost of Living
This free document looks at economic factors influencing cost of living around the world, movements in indices over the last 12 months, and current policy in application of cost of living factors.

Downloadable PDF copies of the report are available, along with our previous Global Perspectives reports on tax and accommodation, from the Resources section of ECA’s website here: http://www.eca-international.com/resources/white_papers

Notes to Editors
Figures used in this release were taken from ECA’s Cost of Living Survey. ECA International’s cost of living indices are calculated based upon surveys carried out annually in March and September using a basket of day-to-day goods and services. The data here is from ECA’s March 2012 survey. ECA’s cost of living survey compares like-for-like goods and services.

The data is used by ECA clients to calculate cost of living allowances for assignees. The survey covers:

  • Food: Groceries; dairy produce; meat and fish; fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Basic: Drink and tobacco; miscellaneous goods; services
  • General: Clothing; electrical goods; motoring; meals out

Certain living costs such as accommodation, utilities (electricity, gas, water costs), car purchase and school fees are not included in the survey. Such items can make a significant difference to expenses but are usually compensated for separately in expatriate packages.

This comparison of cost of living was calculated on a base composed of various developed countries and is used to reflect an international lifestyle. Other indices available from ECA reflect specific city-to-city comparisons, and different levels of shopping efficiency.

Percentages used here are based on the entire sample of goods and services in ECA’s shopping basket, and are therefore unlikely to reflect the true spending of a supporter. People going to the UK to watch the Olympics will also have to factor in the cost of flights, hotels and tickets to the matches. Some prices are also likely to go up during the Olympic period.

About ECA International
ECA is the world’s leader in the development and provision of solutions for the management and assignment of employees around the world. Delivering data, expertise, systems and support in formats which suit its clients, ECA’s offer includes a complete 'out-source' package of calculations, advice and services for companies with little international assignment management experience or resource; subscriptions to comprehensive online information and software systems for companies with larger requirements; and custom policy and system development projects for companies who manage thousands of international assignees around the world.

Follow ECA on twitter: https://twitter.com/ecaintl

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For further information please contact
Anna Michielsen
General Manager, Australia, New Zealand & Pacific for ECA International
ECA International Pty Ltd
T + 61 (2) 8923 5400
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www.eca-international.com