News for the Hospitality Executive
DALLAS, April 6, 2011 -- According to the latest Hotel Price Index™ (HPI™) released by hotels.com®, Asia witnessed a four percent increase in prices paid per room, per night last year, when compared to 2009. Despite the economic recession, U.S. travelers continue to frequent the Far East for leisure and business travel. With China's room rates up 19 percent, the country continues to attract travelers with a majority of their cities seeing substantial increases year-over-year. Additional increases in Asia's hotel rates appeared in Singapore (+33%), Malaysia (+17%), Indonesia (+13%) and South Korea (+10%).
Latin America and Caribbean hotel rates remained steady and strong. The Caribbean showed no change in average hotel rates year-over-year, while Latin America revealed a small increase of two percent in 2010.
"International travel for U.S. travelers has historically been to destinations such as Europe and Canada," commented hotels.com Director of Global Merchandising Strategy, Miguel Oliveira. "In the past two years, we've noticed a steady increase of U.S. travelers to Asia, and a subsequent increase in Asia's room rates. This year, on the HPI's list of most visited international cities, Tokyo and Hong Kong took the eighth and ninth spots respectively. We expect to see more Asian cities making their way onto the HPI's top international destinations for U.S. travelers, as their economy grows, new hotels develop and tourism continues to rise throughout the region."
Asia, the World's Next Great Travel Destination
French Polynesia's Bora Bora attracted travelers looking to truly indulge in luxurious hotels at a significant cost in 2010. Rooms paid last year averaged almost $606 per night – the highest in the world – an 18% increase. For a more affordable option, Arue, also in French Polynesia, saw prices drop 22% year-over-year to $167 per night – a $439 difference compared to Bora Bora.
Bali, Indonesia, featured in the movie Eat, Pray, Love, saw prices rise 35%. Rooms averaged almost $188 per night during 2010. Five-star hotel rooms in this spiritual city can cost on average $341 a night, but travelers can grab 3- and 4-star hotel rooms for $150 or less.
Major business cities in China such as Tung Chung, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shanghai saw a more than 20% increase year-over-year in prices paid, per room per night. On the other hand, Beijing remained relatively flat with a low 1% increase year-over-year, while booming Singapore saw room prices increase 33%.
Caribbean destinations are famous for their post-card perfect beaches, warm island hospitality, and all-inclusive properties that lure U.S. travelers for their close proximity and affordable deals. In 2010, the Caribbean region saw no change in average prices paid versus 2009, with the average daily rate steady at $195 per night.
The most expensive destinations across the Caribbean include Bermuda, Bahamas, St. Lucia and Turks and Caicos. Despite being one of the most expensive Caribbean destinations, the honeymoon destination of Soufriere, St. Lucia saw the greatest price fall in this year's Caribbean region, with prices dropping 28% from $444 to $319 in 2010.
There are phenomenal deals to be found in the Caribbean, according to the HPI. For instance, the Dominican Republic offers the best value for beach-goers, with most areas of the country seeing a decrease in 2010 hotel rates. The least expensive Caribbean destination is Sosua, Dominican Republic, which had average room rates of $96 per night.
Synonymous with fun, sun and spring break, Cancun continues its reign as Latin America's number one travel destination for U.S. travelers. The region saw a 2% increase in travel during 2010 compared to 2009. Rio de Janeiro continues to gain momentum as a popular Latin American destination with its famous non-stop party Carnival, the upcoming FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The city is undergoing major preparations with a spike in hotel development and a major overhaul of its infrastructure. Rio de Janeiro also had some of the most expensive hotel rooms in Latin America, with four-star hotel rates averaging $324 per night in 2010.
Click http://www.hotel-price-index.com for a look at the entire report, featuring infographics and a detailed state-by-state and city-by-city breakdown.
About the HPI™
The hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI™), which began in 2004, is a regular survey of hotel prices in major city destinations (over 18,300 locations) across the globe. The HPI is based on bookings made on hotels.com and prices shown are those actually paid by customers (rather than advertised rates) in 2010 versus 2009.
The HPI is respected as the definitive report on hotel prices around the world and is increasingly used as a reference tool by media, analysts, tourism bodies and academics.
Hotels.com® is a leading provider of lodging worldwide, offering more than 130,000 properties in over 60 countries from national chain hotels and all-inclusive resorts to local favorites and bed & breakfasts. Hotels.com is the smarter way to book travel by offering welcomerewards®, an industry leading loyalty rewards program; the real opinions of other travelers captured in over 2 million Guest Reviews and; a Price Match Guarantee, so that those booking with hotels.com can be assured they are getting the best deal, either online or by speaking directly to a travel expert at 1-800-2-HOTELS 24 hours a day. For more information, please visit hotels.com. Hotels.com is an operating company of Expedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE). Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hotelsdotcom and Twitter via www.twitter.com/hotelsdotcom or visit the hotels.com Travel Smart Blog for consumer and business travel information. Get clayed at http://www.clayyourself.com. Detailed Hotel Price Index data is available at: http://www.hotel-price-index.com, hotels.com, A Smarter Way to Book™.
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Helen Ames – Ruder Finn for hotels.com
Taylor L. Cole, APR