LONDON, September 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Hotel prices increase by two per cent through first half of 2013, now approaching the same level as before the financial crisis, according to the latest Hotels.com Hotel Price Index
The average price of a hotel room around the world rose by two per cent 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 accommodation 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 eleven points higher than at its launch.
Latin America registered its strongest result for more than two years with a seven per cent increase in hotel prices. Helped by the strengthening US economy, North America and the Caribbean outperformed the global average with increases of three per cent and five per cent respectively.
In the Pacific, the slump in the Australian mineral resources industry led to a fall in the number of business travellers in Western Australia particularly and weaker hotel price growth of one per cent. With the Eurozone only just officially out of recession, hotel prices in Europe and the Middle East remained sluggish, also recording a one per cent 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 stabilise, with some experiencing healthy rises."
Asia was the only region to see a fall in prices by two per cent 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 travellers," said David 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 travellers spent US$102 billion on international tourism in 2012, 40% more than in 2011, overtaking the more established tourism markets of Germany and the USA. International travel remains an aspiration for many, especially younger travellers with the disposable income to travel abroad."
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Hotels.com is a leading online accommodation booking website with approximately 220,000 properties around the world through the Expedia group network, ranging from international chains and all-inclusive resorts to local favourites and bed & breakfasts, together with all the information needed to book the perfect stay. Hotels.com benefits from one of the largest hotel contracting teams in the industry, negotiating the best rates for its customers, and offers frequent sales, special deals and promotions. Through its industry-leading loyalty programme Welcome Rewards, customers can earn a free night for every 10 nights stayed at more than 85,000 hotels. Travellers can book online or by contacting one of the multilingual call centres. Special apps for mobile phones and tablets can also be downloaded at http://www.hotels.com/deals/mobile enabling customers to book on the go with access to 20,000 last minute deals.