European hotel prices slide over debt fears

European hotel prices slide over debt fears

Hotel prices in cities across Europe have fallen for the first time since the beginning of the year, as sovereign debt fears across the Continent, and the spectre of a double dip recession, spark travellers into cutting travel expenditure.

Europe’s biggest metropolitan cities experienced widespread falls, according to the new figures from hotel price comparison site Trivago. 38 of the 50 cities listed in its hotel price index registered stable or falling prices – after five months of back-to-back increases in overnight prices.

Many popular summer destinations saw important declines in comparison to last month: Barcelona’s prices sank 24 percent to £117 pounds, based on a standard double; Turin fell 29 percent (£84, down from £118 in May); and Seville’s prices fell 16 percent to £77.

The Italian cities of Milan (£93) and Bologna (£69) are currently offering their best room rates to date for the year 2010, as are Brussels (£80) and most of the German cities (Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf), says Trivago.

This seems to mark the beginning of a price stabilisation, following an uninterrupted five month rise in prices since January 2010.

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In the UK, similar price reductions are to be found. The capital had experienced significant price hikes since the beginning of the year, but the change has brought London back to its typical yearly average, which over the past two years has generally ranged between £120-130 a night.

Prices in other cities also experienced important price drops: Manchester fell 12 percent, while Liverpool dropped 14 percent and Birmingham’s hotel prices fell 19 percent.

Edinburgh was one of the few risers, increasing one percent to £121, Blackpool rose two percent to £68, and Sheffield rose three percent to £69.