Political and Natural Events Strongly Impact Room Rates in First Half of
2011, Says New Hotels.com
Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®)
LONDON, Sept. 13, 2011 /CNW/ - Hotel prices have experienced pronounced
volatility as a result of political turmoil and natural disasters in
the first half of 2011, according to the latest Hotels.com® Hotel Price
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The average price of a room around the world rose by just 3% in the
first six months of the year but this masked some steep rises and falls
in regions affected by the historic events.
Other factors such as currency strength and supply of rooms also
impacted average room prices across the world, although the report
shows that overall these were just 6% higher than when the HPI was
launched in 2004, representing outstanding value for travellers.
Prices fell 6% in Asia Pacific year-on-year but rose in all other areas:
4% in North America, 2% in Europe and Latin America and 1% in the
Counting the cost of the Arab Spring
The uprisings which occurred in North Africa and the Middle East
triggered substantial reductions in hotel prices across the region as
tourists and business travellers stayed away not only from countries
directly hit by the civil unrest but also from those which escaped
However, the fall in consumer confidence was good news for destinations
in southern Europe as travellers returned to more traditional havens.
The rising demand pushed up prices in some Spanish sunshine
destinations and the overall HPI for Europe rose 2% compared with the
first half of last year.
Ireland was also helped by the high-profile visits of Queen Elizabeth II
and President Obama which triggered a slight market recovery in hotel
prices by attracting visitors and boosting demand.
Japanese earthquake hits prices in Asia Pacific
Average prices for hotel rooms across Asia Pacific fell by 6% over the
period. The Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis at
Fukushima led to reduced occupancy and falling demand in the country
and also had a knock-on effect in other parts of the region as the
Japanese chose to stay close to home.
However, despite the downward price pressures, there were also some
marked rises in the region, especially in strong economies such as
Australia where corporate travel continued strongly and the Australian
Dollar remained high.
Travellers from economic powerhouses enjoy lower hotel rates
This factor was also evident in other countries with strong currencies
and economies and meant citizens from nations such as Brazil, Sweden
and Switzerland benefited from lower prices in many destinations,
particularly the US and UK where the US Dollar and Pound Sterling
struggled to hold their ground.
David Roche, President of Hotels.com, comments: "This year, for the
first time, dramatic political and natural world events, such as the
Japanese earthquake and Arab Spring, have caused the most pronounced
level of hotel price volatility since we began this report in 2004.
"However, despite some exceptional price movements, it is important to
highlight that overall the picture has been one of gradual recovery
with many room rates still on a par with what they were seven years
ago, representing great value for the traveller.
"Of course, other factors such foreign exchange fluctuations, one-off
political sporting, cultural or trade events and discounting by
hoteliers can also influence prices but it's important to underline the
general health of the sector so far this year.
"This can be seen by the growth in the supply of rooms all over the
world with nearly 6,000* hotel projects in development. This increase
in accommodation also acts as a brake on prices and, once again, is
good news for the consumer."
The Hotels.com HPI is based on bookings made on Hotels.com sites around
the world and tracks the real prices paid per hotel room (rather than
advertised rates) for about 125,000 properties across more than 19,000
locations. The latest HPI looks at prices in the first half of 2011
compared to the same period last year.
For a full copy of the HPI report, graphics and video interview with
Hotels.com President David Roche go to:
* July 2011 STR Global Construction Pipeline Report
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