Hotel room prices in the UK have dropped for the first time in four years. Prices fell 4% in the third quarter of 2008 to £97 per room per night, compared to £101 being paid during the same period a year earlier, according to booking website Hotels.com.
Prices fell across many of the major UK cities in the third quarter of 2008 as hoteliers - particularly those in Scotland - looked to ensure that occupancy levels were maximised.
Leading the falls in Scotland was Inverness, where prices fell 15% to an average of £94. Inverness was closely followed by Aberdeen, where prices fell by 11% to £96 on average. In England, Birmingham was the city most affected by price falls, experiencing a 13% drop in prices from £75 to £66 per room per night.
However, a notable exception to the national picture was in the UK’s most expensive city, Bath. Prices here were up by some 13% in the third quarter of 2008 compared to the same time in 2007, to an average of £142 per night.
London hotels also saw prices fall by 3% year on year to average £116 per room per night in quarter three of 2008. Despite the price drop, hotels in London are still the second most expensive in the UK.
The HPI from Hotels.com also revealed that Edinburgh was the third most expensive city for hotels in the UK at £106 per room per night, despite experiencing a 5% drop in prices.
David Roche, President of Hotels.com Worldwide, commented, “Price falls across the UK means that there are currently great deals to be had, as more affordable accommodation is on offer. In cities such as Inverness, Aberdeen and Birmingham, steep falls in the prices being paid for hotel rooms reflects the need for hoteliers to keep occupancy levels at a maximum and consequently luxury accommodation is now more affordable.
“On the other hand, Bath’s combination of high visitor levels and luxury hotels means that it retains its place as the most expensive city in the UK by a considerable margin.
“Demand for rooms in the capital has kept London as the UK’s second most expensive city even though prices are down 3% on this time last year. All this is good news for travellers in and to the UK.”