According to the latest hotels.com Hotel Price Index(TM) (HPI(TM)), New York City hotel rates dropped 30 percent in the first half of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, which tied with Las Vegas as the greatest price fall among major U.S. cities. Despite this drop in rates, New York still had the most expensive hotel prices in the U.S. and seventh most expensive globally. Washington, D.C. and Boston had the second and third highest rates respectively despite D.C. prices falling 11 percent and Boston down 16 percent.
“Hotel rates are at a historic low right now and it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the great deals in New York City and around the northeast,” said Steve Dumaine, senior director of merchandising for hotels.com®. “The gap between star categories has narrowed, allowing travelers to enjoy more luxury for virtually the same rate as lower categories. And extra offers like free internet and dining discounts are becoming more prevalent, offering travelers even more value.”
The HPI also revealed U.S. and international travelers’ favorite destinations are found across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. New York was second in popularity among American travelers and first among foreign travelers, while Boston ranked ninth and eighth respectively.
The fall in room rates was driven by price drops across every state in the U.S., except North Dakota which remained flat. The national average decreased by 17 percent, with the northeast and mid-Atlantic region reflecting that shift.
Some of the notable findings about destinations between Washington, D.C. and Maine in the latest HPI report include:
—Despite holding on to its position as the most expensive state in the U.S., New York experienced the greatest fall in prices of any state: prices were down by 30 percent year-over-year during the first half of 2009. New Jersey and Massachusetts ranked within the top five in this category with prices decreasing by 17 percent and 16 percent respectively.
—Two New England states strongly distanced themselves from the U.S. average of a 17 percent hotel prices drop with decreases of only 2 percent in Maine and 6 percent in Vermont. Other New England states were closer to the national average with double-digit drops (Connecticut - 15 percent, Massachusetts - 16 percent, New Hampshire - 13 percent and Rhode Island 15 percent).
—Washington, D.C. rose to the number two position for highest prices in the first half of 2009, primarily due to an influx of tourism to the area and higher rates during the presidential inauguration.
—New York City held its spot as the most expensive domestic city for U.S. travelers, ranking seventh globally.
—Other northeast and mid-Atlantic cities ranked high among travelers, both foreign and domestic. Among Americans, Washington, D.C. ranked fifteenth and Philadelphia came in at the twentieth spot. Washington, D.C. also secured a spot with international travelers, ranking eleventh, and New York City’s neighbor, Newark, New Jersey, came in at fourteenth.
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 in which hotels.com operates. The HPI report issued today 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 both chain and independent hotels, as well as specialty lodging options such as vacation rentals and bed and breakfast properties. For more information on the HPI please visit http://hotels.mediaroom.com/HPI.