The average price of a hotel room around the world rose three per cent during 2013, according to the latest The Hotels.com Hotel Price Index. This means there have now been four years of steady rises in hotel prices since the substantial falls during the financial collapse of 2008/9.
Set at 100 in 2004, the HPI tracks real prices that hotel guests actually paid for their accommodation around the world. The HPI for 2013 stands at 110, seven points lower than its peak in 2007 despite the recent growth, and just ten points higher than at its launch.
Latin America registered its strongest result yet, following a five per cent increase in hotel prices, and has now overtaken its previous peak set just before the global economic downturn. With reports stating that emerging markets are showing solid economic growth, prices rose as demand intensified.
Johan Svanstrom, President of the Hotels.com brand, said: “According to UNWTO (the United Nations World Tourism Organization), international tourist arrivals in 2013 grew by five per cent to a record global figure of 1,087 million, well above expectations. The growth in global hotel prices we are reporting today reflects that trend.
“There is no doubt that European hotel prices were some of the most badly affected by the economic fallout. However, most indicators now show that the economic squeeze is easing, if not yet completely over.
“Looking ahead, one phenomenon impacting global hotel prices in 2014 is the huge rise in the number of sports fans travelling this year, with the Sochi Olympics and Paralympics in February and March and the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in the summer,” he added.
Higher occupancy levels recorded in many areas helped the North American HPI climb three per cent, matching the global rise.
Hotel rates in Europe and the Middle East grew by two per cent. With many financial indicators showing that the European economic recovery is gathering greater momentum, several of the destinations worst hit by the downturn have seen their prices stabilise, with some experiencing healthy increases.
The Pacific region was level. Softer domestic corporate travel in Western Australia, coupled with the drop in value of the Australian Dollar towards the end of the year, had a dampening effect on the overall average.
Conversely, the HPI in Asia fell by 2 per cent, which was good news for inbound travellers to the region as it continues to offer some of the world’s best value hotel accommodation. The depreciation of the Yen, Rupee and Rupiah, coupled with a decrease in inbound visitors to China contributed to this result, although outbound travel from China remains buoyant. There also continues to be a longer term trend of more travel within the region.