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Second Year of Strong Growth Rates for North America

5% rise in U.S. and Canada Outpaces 3% Global Increase, Which was Slowed by Eurozone Crisis
According to Latest Hotels.com Hotel Price Index


DALLAS, March 5, 2013 -- The average price of a hotel room around the world rose by 3 percent during 2012, compared with the previous year, according to the latest Hotels.com® Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®). The rate of increase has moderated when judged against the 4 percent rise in 2011 as the Eurozone's problems pulled down the global average and slowed growth in the second half of the year.

Three regions drew away from the rest. The Caribbean saw a 6 percent rise, North America had one of its best results in recent years growing at 5 percent and the Pacific gained 4 percent, all outpacing the global figure. Asia added 2 percent and Latin America 1 percent while the Europe and Middle East region registered a slight fall.



As the American hotel industry continued to strengthen, so did consumers' confidence, as is evident in the 5 percent increase in spending on domestic hotel accommodations over last year. Austin, Texas (up 9 percent) rose not only in price, but in popularity, jumping three spots to number 17 on the Top Domestic Destinations for Americans list. San Antonio, Texas (up 4 percent) is also on the rise, moving into the top 10 on the U.S. favorites list. Big Sur, Calif ($771 ADR) is making waves worldwide jumping to the number one ranking on the HPI Most Expensive Cities List, while Oahu, Hawaii (up 68 percent), also makes a splash in third place on the list of World's Greatest Price Increases. The U.S. saw an influx of international visitors who spent record amounts on travel and tourism in 2012 according to U.S. Commerce Department, which meant hotels had less need for discounting. The foreign guests who spent the most on U.S. accommodations according to the HPI were travelers from Japan, South Africa, and Norway respectively.

Launched in 2004, the HPI looks at prices that people actually paid for their hotel rooms around the world. The 2012 Index stands at 107, ten points behind its 2007 peak of 117 and only just ahead of its 2005 level of 106.

David Roche, President Global Lodging Group for Expedia, Inc., said: "Europe's hoteliers aren't immune from the region's economic problems, and they weren't able to keep pace with a recovering global market in 2012. Although prices have risen globally, a hotel stay still offers consumers great value, with rates consistently below their peak levels of five years ago."

In the Caribbean, the trend towards more all-inclusive holidays has pushed up the average price paid. In the Pacific, the mining boom in Australia and strength of the Australian dollar continued to drive strong city hotel rates but made it difficult for some leisure destinations dependent on inbound demand. Latin America has witnessed a sustained period of growth in prices paid by customers over the past few years, driven primarily by the booming economies in the two key markets of Brazil and Mexico.

In Asia, a roster of events moved prices up and down across the region, including downward pressure on rates in India, due to a precipitous fall of the Rupee, travel demand shifts due to the politically sensitive situation around the islands in the East China Sea, and price bounce-backs from the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan and flooding in Thailand. The continued increase in the number of Chinese international travelers helped fill hotel rooms and the expansion of low cost carriers also boosted travel opportunities.

"International tourism is expected to climb again in 2013," said David Roche. "Much of the focus of the hospitality industry is now moving east, where the rate of increase is the highest and new infrastructure is helping to drive travel patterns. The Asia/Pacific region added twice as many new hotel rooms as Europe in 2012 and will account for 40 percent of the world's new builds in 2013. Rates here are rising but the region still offers great value for travelers with some of the lowest prices in the world."

For more information on North American specific results, please visit www.hotel-price-index.com.

About Hotels.com
Hotels.com is a leading online accommodation booking brand. Through the Expedia, Inc. global network of websites, Hotels.com, LP connects travelers with almost 200,000 properties around the world, ranging from international chains and all-inclusive resorts to local favorites and bed & breakfasts, together with all the information needed to book the perfect stay. Hotels.com, LP benefits from one of the largest hotel contracting teams in the industry, obtaining the best rates for its customers, and offers frequent sales, special deals and promotions. There are more than 7 million Guest Reviews on the websites from users who have actually stayed in the hotels to ensure customers can make an informed choice when booking. Through Hotels.com, LP's industry-leading loyalty program Welcome Rewards ®, customers can earn a free night for every 10 nights stayed at more than 85,000 hotels. Under its Price Match Guarantee, if a customer can find the same deal for less on a prepaid hotel, Hotels.com, LP will refund the difference. Travelers can book online or by contacting one of the multilingual call centers. Special apps for mobile phones and tablets can also be downloaded at www.hotels.com/deals/mobile_app/ enabling customers to book on the go with access to 20,000 last minute deals. Hotels.com publishes an award-winning twice-yearly review of international hotel room price trends called the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index™, which is now produced in 31 individual country editions, with North American data available at www.hotel-price-index.com. Follow Hotels.com on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Hotels.comUS, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hotelsdotcom and on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/hotelsdotcom. Hotels.com, LP is part of Expedia, Inc., the largest online travel company in the world with an extensive portfolio that includes some of the world's best-known brands.

Hotels.com, Hotel Price Index, HPI, Finding You The Perfect Place and the Hotels.com logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Hotels.com, LP. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. © 2013 Hotels.com, LP. All rights reserved. CST # 2083949-50

 
Contact:

Ashley Aberbach – Finn Partners for Hotels.com
Phone: (212) 715-1524
Email: ashley@finnpartners.com
Twitter: @finnpartners

Taylor L. Cole, APR
Hotels.com North America
Phone: (469) 386-4779
Email: taycole@hotels.com
Twitter: @TravelwithTLC


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