Hotels: Global Room Rates Rise by 3% in 2012

Business

The average price of a hotel room around the world rose by 3% during 2012, compared with the previous year, according to the latest Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI).

The rate of increase has slowed down when compared to the 4% 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% rise, North America had one of its best results in recent years growing at 5%, and the Pacific gained 4%, all out pacing the global figure.

Asia added 2% and Latin America 1% while the Europe and Middle East region registered a slight fall. Launched in 2004, the HPI looks at prices that people actually paid for their hotels 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.

Europe Pulls Down Global Average

“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,” says David Roche, President Global Lodging Group for Expedia, Inc.

The Eurozone crisis not only impacted prices in Europe, it also affected other markets as financial insecurity dampened the travel plans of many Europeans. In the Caribbean, the trend towards more all-inclusive holidays has pushed up the average price paid.

The United States, however, saw an influx of international visitors in 2012, which meant hotels had less need for discounting. 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.

Chinese International Travelers

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,” David says.

“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% 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.”