Price changes In global city destinations
The following sections reflect the actual prices paid by travellers from the UK in Pound Sterling (£) during 2012 compared to prices paid in Pound Sterling in 2011, except in Chapter 4 where the data shows prices paid in the UK by all travellers from around the world.
UK travellers paid more in over half of the international destinations included in the HPI with rises mainly coming in the USA, Australia, Latin America and the major cities in Asia, while Europe continued to provide some of the best value. Of the 116 cities included in the report, prices were up in 63, flat in six and down in 47.
Eurozone crisis helped prices fall
In general, average hotel prices in Europe fell for UK travellers, helped very much by the economic situation in the Eurozone which deterred travel to and within the most affected countries.
In this Olympic year, domestic travellers to London found excellent value as prices fell by 7% to £110, while Edinburgh slipped 1% to £95. Further details of price moves in the UK can be found in Chapter 4.
The Baltic states saw price falls for the first time in some years with Vilnius providing the best value in Europe with a rate of £53 after a 1% fall, followed by neighbouring Riga on £54 and a drop of 3%. Tallinn painted a different picture with its average price rising 13%, the highest in Europe, to £68.
With the Pound strengthening in the first half of the year, Eurozone rates in major city break destinations tumbled. Athens led the way as a result of a 10% fall to £72, Rome next falling 9% to £106, Amsterdam and Madrid both down 8% to £106 and £82 respectively, with 7% falls for Milan to £103 and Lisbon to £76. Some sunshine destinations saw a similar picture with average rates in Alicante down 10% to £64, although this was primarily due to rates readjusting following The Volvo Ocean Race held there in 2011. Prices in Antalya fell 7% to £99 and Benidorm was down 4% to £71. Elsewhere, however, the picture was reversed with a 7% rise in both Palma de Mallorca to £101 and Torremolinos to £63 with Cannes up 6% to £149 and Ibiza up 4% to £105, due to strong demand in the high season particularly.
The strength of the German economy helped rates rise in Munich by 5% to £106, boosted by an increase in both business and leisure travellers. The capital Berlin, traditionally with some of the best value rooms in the country, was up 2% to £75. This can be attributed to higher demand but also to an improvement in the hotel stock with older properties closing and being replaced with more niche and upmarket products. Frankfurt, however, fell 4% to an average £100.
In Switzerland, with the Swiss Franc losing some ground to the Pound in the first half of the year, rates continued to slide. In Zurich, hoteliers dropped their prices to remain more competitive and the average fell 8% over the year to £133. In Geneva, there was a 5% fall to £159, although this still placed the city in sixth place in the overall price table.
Farther east, prices in Kiev settled to register an 8% rise to £106 for the year, following its hefty increase of 46% in the first half of 2012 as a result of hosting the European Football Championship in June.
Confidence returned to the Middle East
Following the turbulent start to 2011 with the turmoil of the Arab Spring, confidence returned to much of the Middle East and North Africa during 2012, allowing hotel prices to rise as travellers returned.
In Egypt, the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh, which had been particularly badly affected by the drop in visitor numbers, bounced back 34%, the highest rise in the HPI, to an average £92 a night. Cairo still has some way to go though as its rates fell 7% to £98. Marrakech also benefitted from the increased buoyancy in the market and recorded a 10% rise to £78 but Casablanca was down 7% to £80.
Dubai, the most popular destination in the region, saw high occupancy drive its rates up 14% to £137 as more upmarket hotels opened. Abu Dhabi prices also rose 10% to £115. Conversely, rates in Muscat dropped 12% to £188 as the city’s 5-star hotels lowered their rates, although this still placed the destination as the second highest priced in the table.
USA led the way
UK travellers paid more for their hotel stays during 2012 in all 15 US destinations included in the HPI as the stronger economy coupled with increased international and domestic travellers drove significant double-digit increases.
Popular holiday destinations followed suit with Orlando up 18% to £73, New Orleans up 16% to £106, Key West up 10% to £154 and the Grand Canyon up 9% to £79, with Miami and Las Vegas both up 8% to £133 and £85 respectively.
The major northeast cities had a similar experience, although overall increases were not as high, with Boston up 10% to £151, Washington DC up 4% to £123 and New York, the highest priced US destination and at No 3 in the overall table, up 3% to £179.
Australia drove the Pacific increase
The resources boom in Australia and the resultant increase in business traffic continued to drive prices higher for UK travellers during 2012, particularly for those visiting Western Australia where the average cost of a room in the capital Perth rose 22%, the second highest increase in the HPI, to £142, the highest average in the country.
Good performance in Asia
There were several factors influencing the price rises across Asia during 2012: the return of travel to and from Japan following the disasters of 2011, the strength of the local economies, the continued rise in the number of Chinese travellers and an increase in the number of flights by low cost carriers. However, the region still offers excellent value for travellers and remains popular with luxury holidaymakers and backpackers alike.
In the major cities, Hong Kong benefitted from all these stimuli, which drove its rates 10% higher to £130. Hanoi‘s percentage increase was greater at 14%, albeit with prices considerably lower at £49. Travellers paid 9% more in Kuala Lumpur at £79 while there was more modest growth of 6% in Beijing to £74, 5% in Shanghai to £80 and 4% in both Taipei to £95 and Bangkok to £61. Phnom Penh was the destination where UK travellers paid the lowest rates in the report at an average £40 a night, the same as in 2011.
Hotel prices in Japan had tumbled in 2011 following the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear emergency in the first half of the year but rebounded during 2012 as travellers returned, with Kyoto up 16% to £105, Osaka up 14% to £74 and Tokyo up 6% to £109.
In tourist destinations, the picture was mixed. Siem Reap, the gateway to Cambodia’s Angkor region, registered a 17% climb to £51, Bali saw an 11% upswing to £114 and Krabi grew 6% to £72. On the other hand, Koh Samui slid 9% to £75 and Pattaya fell 6% to £48.
Latin American powerhouses
For the full year 2012, there was another strong performance in the main economies of Latin America. In Brazil, although the Pound gained ground against the Real during the year, UK travellers paid 13% more to stay in Rio de Janeiro at £177, placing it at No 4 in the price table as limited hotel supply helped to drive up rates. As the city prepares for the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016, it will be interesting to watch the impact of these global events on average hotel prices in the next few years. Sao Paolo was also up 6% to £135 while prices in Mexico City grew 12% to £88 and in Cancun by 4% to £131.
Elsewhere, though, Bogota tumbled 17% to £92 and visitors to Buenos Aires paid 7% less at an average of £90.
|Rio de Janeiro||£177||£157||13%|
|Palma de Mallorca||£101||£95||7%|
|Sharm El Sheikh||£92||£69||34%|
|Ho Chi Minh City||£59||£60||-2%|
|Sharm El Sheikh||£92||£69||34%|
|Rio de Janeiro||£177||£157||13%|
|Ho Chi Minh City||£59|