Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI) Highlights Top International Destinations for Canadian Travellers

Despite growth in domestic and U.S. travel, Canadians are still travelling to European, Asian and Latin American cities

TORONTO, Nov. 17, 2011 /CNW/ - According to the hotels.com® Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®), Canadians travelled more in the first half of 2011 to the U.S. and Canada and less to overseas destinations compared to 2010. But despite this decline in international travel, there were several European, Latin American and Asian cities that ranked in Canada's top 50 destinations for international travel. Hotels.com highlights some of these international favourites as well as up-and-coming global hotspots.

"Last year, we saw a significant change with Canadians increasing travel to domestic and U.S. destinations. However, many Canadians are still visiting Europe and Asia for both business and leisure," said Victor Owens, vice president of marketing North America for hotels.com. "As the Hotel Price Index indicates, travel to Asia has risen, especially in places like Bangkok and Beijing where average daily rates for four- and five-star lodgings are less than $200* per night.  We expect to see more cities in these regions make their way onto the HPI's top international destinations for Canadian travellers as their economies grow, and there is more investment in hotels and overall tourism."

European destinations

Europe is still attracting many Canadian visitors, especially the U.K., France, Italy and Spain.  According to the HPI, Europe saw a year-over-year daily rate increase of four per cent with London, and Paris, featuring average daily rates of over $200, and still ranking in the top 10 cities for international travel. Canadians also can't seem to get enough of Italy's rich historical attractions, sumptuous cuisine and breathtaking art, evidently shown as Rome, Venice and Florence were also top travel destinations in the first half of 2011.

Travellers looking for more affordable accommodations in Europe can find deals in the picturesque city of Prague where four-star hotel rates average $112. Luxury - seekers can book rooms in five-star lodgings for less than $200 per night in the cultural centres of Budapest, Berlin, Lisbon and Warsaw.

Asia on the rise

The latest HPI indicates that Asia continues to be an emerging locale for Canadian travellers. Business, retail, cultural and culinary hotspot Hong Kong, which is ranked as the 18th most-visited international destination, is also one of the most expensive Asian cities, seeing a year-over-year average daily rate increase of 16 per cent. Canadians looking for travel deals to Asia should consider visiting China's bustling cities Shanghai and Beijing, or Thai destinations Bangkok and Phuket, before demand for these exotic locations rises and prices increase.

Latin American hotspots

Brazil, part of the emerging BRIC countries and host to the upcoming World Cup and Olympics, is gaining popularity as both a business and leisure destination. The South American country saw nightly room rates increase six per cent from 2010, with an average daily rate of $225 for hotel rooms, making Brazil the second most popular region among expensive countries, to visit globally. Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are ranked among the top ten most expensive cities in Latin America for accommodation.

A warm welcome retreat for winter-weary Canadians and renowned for its beautiful beaches, Mexico continues to attract Canadian tourists. Three Mexican cities - Cancun, Mayan Riviera and Puerta Vallarta are ranked in the top 50 international destinations for Canadian travellers. Mayan Riviera was ranked as the 35th most-visited location by Canadians in 2011, a significant rise from its 45th place in 2010. This move could be attributed to a 26 per cent decrease of its average daily hotel room price, to $161 in 2011 from $218 in 2010. While Mexico City's hotel rates increased eight per cent, Mexico as a whole saw year-over-year prices decline five per cent.

The hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI) is a regular survey of hotel prices in major city destinations across the world. The HPI is based on bookings made on hotels.com and prices shown are those actually paid by customers (rather than advertised rates) for the first half of 2011. The report largely compares prices paid in 2010 with prices paid in 2011.

For the full report, featuring infographics, detailed maps, and a city-by-city breakdown, visit: www.hotel-price-index.com.

About the HPI

The HPI tracks the real prices paid per room by hotels.com customers around the world using a weighted average based on the number of rooms sold in each of the markets that hotels.com operates. The index started in 2004, and includes all bookings across all-star ratings across the approximately 140,000 properties in the more than 18,000 global locations that make up the sample set of hotels from which prices are taken.

*All prices are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.

About hotels.com

Hotels.com (also known in Canada as hotels.ca) is a leading provider of worldwide accommodations to Canadians, offering reservation services through its website at www.hotels.com and its toll-free call centre at 1-800-CA-HOTELS (1-800-224-6835). Hotels.com offers travellers the widest selection of accommodations - from traditional hotels to vacation rentals - at more than 140,000 properties in Canada, the United States, Europe, and around the world. The company offers a one-stop shopping source for hotels, with 2.5 million customer reviews, a Price Match Guarantee,  an industry leading loyalty rewards program, welcomerewards®,  and pricing in Canadian dollars. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hotelsdotcomca and Twitter at www.twitter.com/hotelsdotcomca. Hotels.com is a brand owned and operated by Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE).

Hotels.com, Hotel Price Index, HPI and the hotels.com logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of hotels.com, LP. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. © 2011 hotels.com, LP. All rights reserved. CST # 2083949-50


SOURCE Hotels.com

For further information:

Press contacts: 

Lynnette Visaya
energi PR for hotels.com    
Phone: (416) 425-9143 ext. 22    
Email: lynnette.visaya@energipr.com   
          Taylor L. Cole, APR
hotels.com North America
Phone: (469) 335-8442
Email: taycole@hotels.com


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