Let's Save Some Dough News
Hotels.com, an online search engine for finding and booking accommodations worldwide, has released its semi-annual Hotel Price Index (HPI) giving consumers an indication of just how much they can expect to pay for a place to stay on their next vacation. The report indicates that there was a 4% increase in the cost of a hotel room worldwide over the first half of they year, despite the fact that many markets have actually seen the cost of a hotel room go down substantially when compared to the same period in 2013. Some of the more popular markets in Europe and elsewhere helped to make up for this discrepancy in pricing however, by posting higher that average price increases for the year so far.
The HPI, which is now in its 11th year, has become a highly regarded barometer of travel trends. For instance, the report indicates that travel in the early months of the year was up 5% worldwide, as optimism about an improving economy provided some confidence for both business travelers and tourists alike. Latin America and the Caribbean were particularly busy during that timeframe, with both regions seeing record growth. Elsewhere, Europe and the Middle East were also incredibly strong, and in June, the U.S. had its highest hotel occupancy rate since the Index was first created.
The report examines the average cost for a room in 115 markets across the globe, with pricing monitored in every type of hotel ranging from those rated with 0 stars, to those boasting a prestigious 5-star rating. During the first half of the year, prices actually went down in 63 of those markets, including places such as Thailand, where political unrest early in the year sent hotel prices plummeting 24%. Similarly, prices in Johannesburg dropped 12% and the cost of a room fell by 13% in Moscow as well. Australia has gotten more affordable for travelers, as Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth saw 18%, 16% and 13% drops respectively. Political unrest in Egypt also continues to keep tourists away, and as a result prices in Cairo fell 17%, while Sharm El Sheikh saw a 20% drop.
Of course, with these steep declines, there were also some destinations that rose substantially in price. For instance, in Monaco, the price of a room went up by a staggering 21%. That tiny Mediterranean country now boasts the highest average hotel room in the world at roughly $360 per night. Big price increases were also seen in Reykjavik, Iceland as well, which had a 17% increase, while both Mallorca and Cancun posted 16% jumps. Places like Auckland (14%) and Wellington (11%), saw sharp increases in price as well, but both New Zealand cities remained affordably priced none the less.
The HPI also indicates which cities are the most expensive to stay in around the world to help travelers better prepare for their stays. As mentioned above, Monaco now holds the distinction of topping that dubious list. It is followed by Muscat, the Capital of Oman, at $317 per night. Then comes Key West Florida ($310), followed by New York ($276), and Cancun ($274) closes out the top five.
The cheapest hotel rooms were mostly found throughout South East Asia. For instance, Cambodia’s Phnom Penh offers the lowest prices at an average of just $54 per night, while Hanoi in Vietnam is just a bit higher at $60. Pattaya and Chiang Mai, both located in Thailand, were roughly $64 for a night’s stay as well.
It is important to point out that these prices are only the average cost for a room in those cities, and that there are cheaper accommodations to be had if you search hard enough. Still, the Hotel Price Index is a good indication of what it will cost to book rooms in these places, and it can help you to budget accordingly when preparing to travel abroad.