Hotels.com Reports 17 Percent Drop in U.S. Hotel Prices

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Hotels.com's Hotels Price Index has revealed that U.S hotel prices have dropped 17 percent, with room rates at their lowest in five years.

According to the recently released hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI), the average price of a hotel room in the U.S fell 17 percent in the first six months of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008. Room rates in the U.S now cost, on average, $115 a night, down from $139 the year before.

"This is by far the most significant change in prices we've seen since we created the Hotel Price Index. Americans' travel dollars have never gone farther than in 2009," said David Roche, President of hotels.com. "As properties continue to roll out discounts and other incentives to attract guests, the gap between the top star categories has narrowed, giving travelers more value and making luxury more accessible than any other time in the past five years."

The United States followed a larger global trend with room rates around the world down 17 percent in the first half of the year, according to the HPI. The fall in room rates was driven by price drops across every continent with hotel rooms in Europe down 16 percent, rates in North America and Asia both declining 17 percent, and hotel prices in Latin America falling 18 percent.

Hotels.com's HPI revealed that Las Vegas overtook New York City as the favourite domestic destination for U.S travellers in the first half of 2009, with room rates in Las Vegas hotels (http://www.hotels.com/city-hotels_las-vegas_1504033.html) just $82 a night on average. Destinations rounding out the top five U.S. favourites included New York City, Orlando, Chicago hotels (http://www.hotels.com/city-hotels_chicago_1497539.html) and San Francisco.

Las Vegas and New York hotels (http://www.hotels.com/city-hotels_new-york_1506246.html), also both experienced the nation's greatest drop in room rates with each destination down 30 percent compared to the same period the previous year. Despite this fall in hotel prices, New York City still held its spot as the most expensive U.S. destination of those tracked in the global list, with prices averaging $196 during Q1 and Q2 2009.

Among the states, New York was the most expensive destination, followed by Hawaii, Massachusetts and Wyoming, whose ski tourism helped boost hotel prices in the state. The nation's least expensive states in the first half of 2009 included Nevada, with room rates just $77 on average, Idaho and Kansas.

The hotels.com HPI tracks the real prices paid per hotel room rather than advertised rates, using a weighted average based on the number of rooms sold in each of the markets hotels.com operates in. The recent HPI report examines hotel prices paid at 78,000 hotels across 13,000 locations around the world for the period January to June 2009, compared to the same period the year before.

The international scale of hotels.com in terms of both customers and destinations makes the HPI one of the most comprehensive benchmarks available, as it incorporates chain and independent hotels, as well as specialty lodging options such as vacation rentals and bed and breakfast properties.

Notes to Editors:
Fourteen editions of the HPI are published globally. Country versions reflecting hotel prices in local currencies are available for the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

About hotels.com
hotels.com is a leading provider of lodging worldwide including Rome, London, Paris and Los Angeles hotels (http://www.hotels.com/city-hotels_los-angeles_1439028.html). Hotels.com offers an extensive selection of more than 85,000 properties ranging from traditional hotels and vacation rentals to bed and breakfasts and all-inclusive resorts. hotels.com serves as an advocate for guests before, during and after their property stay. To help travellers choose the right property for each trip, the company provides a variety of tools and features, including property descriptions, rate calendars, maps, virtual tours, and more than one million guest reviews. hotels.com offers additional value for guests through its Price Match Guarantee, Risk-Free Booking and welcomerewards programs.

PR Contact:
Vic Walia
Hotels.com LP
10440 North Central Expressway
Suite 400
PO Box 803
Dallas TX 75231
USA
001 469-335-1069
http://www.hotels.com

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Hotels.com
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