The Hotel Price Index 2008 -- Global Hotel Prices Review

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Hotels.com's Hotel Price Index (HPI) is a regular survey of hotel prices in major destinations across the world. The HPI is compiled from data obtained by Hotels.com, the hotels expert and the world's most visited online hotel booking site.

Hotels.com's Hotel Price Index (HPI) is a regular survey of hotel prices in major destinations across the world. The HPI is compiled from data obtained by Hotels.com, the hotels expert and the world's most visited online hotel booking site.

  • The HPI tracks the real prices paid per room for a wide basket of hotels, weighted to represent hotels in every star category in major destinations.
  • Approximately 60,000 hotels in over 6,500 locations make up the sample of hotels from which prices are taken.
  • The prices shown are those actually paid by customers (rather than advertised rates), and therefore give an accurate reflection of hotel prices for the period.

Hotels.com's international scale (in terms of both customers and destinations) makes it one of the most comprehensive benchmarks available, as it incorporates both chain and independent hotels. In Europe, approximately 25% of hotel rooms are part of a chain, the remainder being independent. The reverse is true of the US, where approximately 70% of hotel rooms booked are in chains.

1. Global price changes

Average hotel rates were generally flat for the world as a whole in 2007. However, while the global picture was generally flat, this overall trend masks substantial changes across the world's major markets - as prices in Europe and Asia rose, while prices in the US and Rest of the World (RoW) baskets fell.

  • Overall, average global hotel prices fell by 0.4% year-on-year in 2007.

During 2007, the HPI rose from 112 in December 2006 to between 118 and 120 for the period of January to May 2007.

  • This repeats the seasonal trend seen in previous years for prices to rise during the early-part of the year before falling back during the European summer months.
  • The HPI rose to 121 - matching its all-time high - in September 2007.
  • During October, November and December, prices once again fell back from the September peak

(a trend seen in 2004, 2005 and 2006). The HPI closed at 106 in December 2007.

The fluctuation during the year reflected northern hemisphere travellers' desire to travel off-peak. The spring and late-summer price peaks reflect the fact that many independent travellers are now avoiding the summer months and would prefer to spend more on city-breaks travelling off-peak.

European prices up in 2007

  • Prices across all European destinations rose by 4.5% during 2007.
  • The Hotels.com Hotel Price Index found that, outside New York, many of the major US cities have real bargains on offer.
  • The Hotels.com Hotel Price Index shows that the US has the cheapest rooms on average.
  • This made the US over 15% cheaper on average than Europe during 2007.

Asia prices fall back

  • Asian hotel prices rose by 3.3% year-on-year in 2007.
  • The price rises were driven by destinations outside many of the major centres.

2. Top global city destinations
Major European destinations saw substantial price rises in 2007,
In 2007, there was a growing divide between higher-priced cities such as Moscow, Venice and London - which have seen year-on-year rises, on top of already higher-than-average prices.

Overall cheapest destinations

  • With prices averaging £55, Orlando was the cheapest of the world's major cities. Prices fell by 5% in 2007, compared to those paid by travellers in 2006. For European visitors to Florida the strong pound and Euro made visiting even better value.

Overall most expensive destinations

  • At the other end of the scale, Moscow was once again the most expensive city in the world in which to find a bed for the night. The city posted an average rise of over one fifth (22%) year-on-year to £194 per night - the second-highest annual rise amongst the world's major city destinations.

5. What the average traveller pays

Hotels.com has looked at what different nationalities spend on their hotel rooms.
This Hotel Price Index special feature examines the average prices paid for rooms by travellers overall - both when they are staying in their home nation and when visiting overseas cities.
It also looks at the prices that different travellers pay on average in the major European city destinations - as well as the average paid in New York, a perennial favourite city-break for all European travellers.

  • Irish travellers were Europe's "biggest spenders" - prepared to spend £99 on hotel rooms on average when travelling overseas.
  • Europe's cheapest travellers (or best bargain-hunters) were the Germans, willing to part with just £82 per night on average when travelling overseas and a mere £64 per night when they stayed in their own country.
  • In London, German travellers spent just less than their Austrian counterparts. They parted with £94 per night in the UK capital, compared to the £89 per night spent by the average Austrian traveller.

7. How far £100 will get you around the world

For those who want to stay in the lap of luxury while on their breaks should choose carefully when it comes to picking a destination.
Spending just £50 each per night for a couple can buy a five star pad in the best-value cities around the world (that include exotic locations such as Bali, Buenos Aires or Sao Paolo, as well as destinations closer to home such as Cairo, Lisbon or Marrakech).

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James Gordon-MacIntosh
Hotels.com
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Alison Couper
Hotels.com
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