Going Up – And Not Just the Hotel Elevators

For those of us who spend an inordinate amount of time in hotels the average prices we pay matters.. it matters a lot. Over the last several years since the global financial crisis first hit, we’ve seen global hotel rates decline quite substantially. A combination of less corporate travelers and reduced leisure demand meant that hotel room occupancy rates dropped and along with them, the prices as well.

As this survey shows though, this trend is reversing. Higher demand equals higher prices and less perks for frequent travelers. What does this all mean to you? It’s simple, you’ll need to shop around more in order to get that great deal.

The average price of a hotel room around the world rose by 2 percent during the first six months of 2013 compared with the same period the previous year, according to the latest Hotels.com® Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®).

The average price of a hotel room around the world rose by 2 percent during the first six months of 2013 compared with the same period the previous year, according to the latest Hotels.com® Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®). The rise, although relatively small, maintained a trend of slowly increasing rates seen since the start of 2010, with average prices now close to their 2006 levels, before the global financial crisis began.

Set at 100 in 2004, the HPI tracks real prices that hotel guests actually paid for their accommodations around the world. The Index for the first six months of 2013 stands at 111, eight points lower than its peak in the same period of 2007 and just 11 points higher than at its launch.

Latin America registered its strongest result for more than two years with a 7 percent increase in hotel prices. Helped by the strengthening U.S. economy, North America and the Caribbean outperformed the global average with increases of 3 percent and 5 percent respectively.
InterContinental Shanghai RuijinHotels.com
InterContinental Shanghai Ruijin

In the Pacific, the slump in the Australian mineral resources industry led to a fall in the number of business travelers in Western Australia particularly and weaker hotel price growth of 1 percent. With the Eurozone only just officially out of recession, hotel prices in Europe and the Middle East remained sluggish, also recording a 1 percent gain.

David Roche, President Hotels.com, said: “There is no doubt that European hotel prices have been some of the most badly affected since the economic fallout in 2008/2009. The fact that the Eurozone recorded growth for the first two quarters of 2013 is evidence that the economic crisis is easing, although not yet completely over. Many of the destinations worst hit by the downturn have seen hotel prices stabilize, with some experiencing healthy rises.”

Asia was the only region to see a fall in prices by 2 percent in the first half of 2013. Individual cities in the region performed well but the depreciation in value of the Yen and the Rupee, coupled with a fall in the number of inbound visitors to China contributed to this result. However, outbound travel from China has not yet been impacted by slowdown in the country’s economy and continued to boom.

“Another phenomenon impacting global hotel prices is the huge and rapid rise in number of Chinese international travelers,” said Roche. “China has officially become the world’s largest outbound tourism market with an estimated 83 million overseas trips made by Chinese citizens, according to the China Tourism Academy 2013 report. The UN World Tourism Organization also announced that Chinese travelers spent US$102 billion on international tourism in 2012, 40 percent more than in 2011, overtaking the more established tourism markets of Germany and the U.S. International travel remains an aspiration for many, especially younger travelers with the disposable income to travel abroad.”

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