South India is now the most expensive region for tourists, according to travel information website TripAdvisor's recently launched travel price index.

TripIndex, a cost-comparing tool, analyses the price difference between 48 key international tourist cities, major Indian metropolitan cities and popular holiday spots in India. The index helps travellers determine the cost of an evening out for two people in these destinations. The company evaluated the price of a one-night stay at a two/three-star hotel, a pre-meal drink, dinner and a taxi ride, in order to compile the list.

According to the TripIndex, South India ranks highest on the list with an average cost of Rs. 8,537 a night for two people, closely followed by West India (Rs. 8,186) and East India (Rs.6, 344).

Kerala as a state has become very popular for tourist destinations, thus driving up prices during the peak travel period. This is a possible reason for South India as a whole topping the list, according to Mr. Nikhil Ganju, County Manager TripAdvisor (India).

With a deprecating rupee, unrelenting inflation and skyrocketing airfares, Indian travellers have a good reason to be cost-conscious while they travel. Hopefully this index will help them, he says.

While Chennai is listed as the third most expensive metro overall, it has the dubious honour of being the highest in the ‘taxi rates' category. The index ranks Chennai's taxis as the most expensive with a cost of Rs. 201 for one night, with the same journey costing only Rs. 100 in Pune.