YOLO: Report reveals Aussie globetrotters living it up large, despite currency woes

  • The Hotels.com Hotel Price Index reveals Aussies continued to squeeze more juice out of their holiday dollars in Southeast Asia


SYDNEY 7 March, 2017: The Hotel Price Index™ (HPI™) from Hotels.com™ has revealed the fluctuating Australian dollar did nothing to deter Aussies’ infamous love of travel in 2016, with the data uncovering travel-hungry Aussies paid* more per night on average in over half of the top 100 popular international destinations, compared to 2015.

Of the top 100 popular international destinations in 2016, the HPI found that Aussies took the YOLO attitude to the extreme in the United States and Greece, with Lahaina ($384), Mykonos ($356), New York ($345), Boston ($342) and Santorini ($329) taking out the top five spots Australians paid the most on average for a bed per night, of the hotels analysed. In Mexico, Aussie favourites Playa Del Carmen and Cancun slipped into the top ten least affordable holiday spots.

Cheap as chips in Southeast Asia

Aussies continued to squeeze more juice out of their holiday dollars in Southeast Asia, with the region recording 18 of the lowest 20 averages paid per hotel night. Thanks to the steadfast exchange rate, there is really no excuse for Australians not to swap a Starbucks latte or Greek salad for pad Thai, with Pattaya revealed as the absolute winner in the bargain department among the top 100 popular destinations analysed at a cheap as chips $67 per night.

Phnom Penh ($73), Chiang Mai ($74), Cebu ($80) and Hanoi ($83) were the other top Southeast Asian favourites that offered Aussies the best bang-for-your-buck hotel breaks.

Brexit offers bargains galore

As the Brits voted to leave the EU in 2016, the Hotels.com HPI proved Brexit was a good thing for travellers who experienced more holiday buying power following the shock vote in June. No longer did Australians have to stay on a friends’ couch or stick to a diet of pints and peas – the HPI found that a trip to the UK was the most affordable it’s been for some time, especially in the British capital of London, where the average price paid for a hotel room decreased by 10% in 2016, compared to 2015, to a more affordable $252 per night.

Across the channel in Cardiff, prices paid by Aussies for a bed were down 27% to $156 per night, while in Scotland’s Edinburgh, prices remained relatively unchanged at $208 per night in 2016, compared to $209 in 2015.

Security concerns impact hotel rates in Europe

The Turkish city of Istanbul, which was rocked by terror attacks and an attempted military coup in 2016, topped the list of European destinations that saw the steepest decline in hotel prices (30% year-over-year), where a room set travellers back just $108 per night. Australians also had more money in their back pockets in Milan, where the average price paid for a room fell by 20% year-over-year to $219 per night.

In Paris, the city’s average price was down by almost 10% year-over-year to $216 per night in the wake of terrorism attacks

Aussies love the Land of the Long White Cloud

As more than one million Australians[1] crossed the pond to New Zealand in 2016, the trans-Tasman rival was our most-loved holiday hot spot of the year, despite the Australian Dollar not stretching as far there. Hotel prices rose by 5% on average to $179 per night, with a night in the resort town of Queenstown the least affordable, up 12% on 2015 to $253 per night.

Commenting on this year’s report, marketing manager Australia and New Zealand for the Hotels.com brand, David Spasovic, said: “It’s great to see that despite the troubles the world faced, Australians’ infamous love of travel remained. Rather than bunkering down and waiting for better market conditions in 2017, the answer should be to travel smarter, and our Hotel Price Index reveals where the holiday bargains can be found,” he said.

International travellers can’t get enough of the land Down Under

Meanwhile, in Australia, as an influx of visitors[2] travelled Down Under in 2016, the Hotels.com report found these travellers threw down some serious cash in Yulara, which came out on top as the least-affordable Aussie destination for international holiday-makers. A bed in Yulara cost a whopping $350 per night for international guests, down 13% on the previous year, in part due to the heavy promotion of the Northern Territory’s Field of Light exhibition in 2016.

On the other hand, states that cooled down following the slowdown of the natural resources boom experienced double-digit percentage decreases in the average price of hotel accommodation. Townsville saw the steepest decline in hotel prices paid by international guests, falling 13% to an affordable $112 per night and also represented the best-value accommodation in Australia in 2016. Perth saw the second-highest drop, falling 12% to $170 per night, and Darwin decreased by 10% to $137 per night, compared to 2015.

Tropical Port Douglas saw a 3% average price hike for a hotel room as the area’s peak season was extended longer than anticipated, while hotel prices in Sydney remained unchanged ($221) for international guests, compared to 2015.

Mr Spasovic said: “International guests couldn’t get enough of Australia in 2016 as they came in droves to experience the beauty of our shores. While the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index reveals the most expensive hot-spots for visiting guests, it also reveals where the bargains can be had, with Townsville, Perth and Darwin well ahead of the pack when it comes to affordability. With the widest range of hotel choices, competitive deals and user-friendly technology, Hotels.com is the ideal travel companion,” he said.

The Hotels.com Hotel Price Index is an annual report on hotel prices in major destinations across the world, tracking the movement in prices that people actually paid for their accommodation and providing valuable insight into the reasons behind these changes. The data is drawn from bookings made on the hundreds of thousands of hotels on the Hotels.com websites worldwide.

To view the Australian HPI data in more detail, visit: hpi.hotels.com/au-2016

A snapshot of hotel prices in 2016:

Top ten destinations among the top 100 analysed where Australian travellers paid the most for a hotel room in 2016 in AUD:

                        DESTINATION AVERAGE PRICE PAID IN 2016 (AUD) % CHANGE ON 2015
Lahaina, U.S $384 -3%
Mykonos, Greece $356 17%
New York, U.S $345 1%
Boston, U.S $343 -3%
Santorini, Greece $329 12%
Honolulu, U.S $328 6%
Hollywood, U.S $326 4%
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico $294 -1%
San Francisco, U.S $294 -1%
Cancun, Mexico $283 -7%


Top ten destinations among the top 100 analysed where Australian travellers paid the least for a hotel room in 2016 in AUD:

Pattaya, Thailand $67 -8%
Phnom Penh, Cambodia $73 3%
Chiang Mai, Thailand $74 -1%
Cebu, Philippines $80 -8%
Hanoi, Vietnam $83 6%
Siem Reap, Cambodia $83 5%
Manila, Philippines $91 -2%
Sepang, Malaysia $92 8%
Hoi An, Vietnam $95 -5%
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia $105 -4%


Average prices paid per night in Australia by international travellers in 2016 in AUD:

Yulara $350 13%
Whitsunday Islands $257 0%
Sydney $221 0%
Port Douglas $205 3%
Melbourne $174 -2%
Perth $170 -12%
Brisbane $149 -7%
Darwin $137 -10%
Cairns $153 2%
Alice Springs $128 0%
Townsville $112 -13%


*Average prices paid per night inclusive of taxes and fees.

[1] http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/3401.0Feature%20Article1Dec%202016?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=3401.0&issue=Dec%202016&num=&view

[2] www.tourism.australia.com/statistics/arrivals.aspx