Hotel prices slump globally

The average price for hotel rooms across the world fell over the summer, according to new research from Hotels.com. The average price paid by travellers for a room during the period July-September 2008 fell by 3% globally, when compared to the same period in 2007. This is the first year-on-year fall in prices measured in any quarter since the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index started in January 2004.However, the weakness of Sterling over the course of Q3 2008 meant that UK travellers have yet to benefit from the global fall in hotel costs. The combination of slight real price rises in Europe (which bucked the global trend) and the stronger Euro meant that, for UK travellers, average prices in some European destinations have risen by as much as 30%.

The 3% drop in prices globally was driven by falls in room prices across North America (where prices fell by 5%), Latin America (where prices were down 1%) and the Caribbean (prices down 4%). Prices in Asia, meanwhile, were flat. In Europe, prices were up by 2% as hoteliers defied the general trend, maintaining prices during the summer months.

David Roche, President, Hotels.com Worldwide said: “Hotels in the Americas in particular have been feeling the effects of the wider global downturn for the past six to nine months and we have seen extensive price-cutting already. US hoteliers may have to cut prices further to maintain occupancy in the months to come.

“In Europe, by contrast, hoteliers have had to cut less, with a reasonably strong summer performance - the traditional European travel peak - helping them to maintain their rates.

“However, European prices are now starting to come down and there are likely to be an increasing number of good deals to be found across the continent’s major travel destinations over the course of 2009.”
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