Yulara experiences highest hotel price hike for international travellers in 2016, reveals Hotels.com HPI

  • Townsville and Perth record the steepest decline in Australian hotel prices, according to the latest Hotels.com Hotel Price Index


SYDNEY – 7 March, 2017: As an influx of visitors[1] travelled Down Under in 2016, the latest Hotel Price Index™ (HPI™) from Hotels.com™ has revealed that international travellers paid* on average the most for a hotel room in the Northern Territory’s Yulara, while prices decreased for holiday-makers across states that cooled down following the slowdown in the mining and natural resources boom.

According to the Hotels.com data, Yulara, considered to be in the spiritual heart of Australia and an international traveller hang-out, showed the highest percentage price rise. Average price paid in 2016 for a bed in Yulara increased by 13% year-over-year to $350 per night, in part due to the heavy promotion of the Northern Territory’s Field of Light exhibition in 2016.

Conversely, 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 in 2016, falling 13% year-over-year to $112 per night and 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.

Hotel prices paid by international travellers in 2016 remained unchanged in Sydney ($221) and represented the city that commanded one of the highest average room rates in Australia. In the Whitsunday Islands, prices remained unchanged for overseas travellers in 2016 at $257 per night. Close by in Brisbane, the cost of a room dropped seven percentage points to $149 per night.

International holiday-makers that took to the tourist mecca of Port Douglas in 2016 experienced a 3% increase in hotel accommodation as a result of the area’s peak season being extended longer than anticipated. In Cairns, prices increased by 2% for international visitors in 2016 to $153 per night.

David Spasovic, marketing manager Australia and New Zealand for the Hotels.com brand, said: “Overall, the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index data reveals that Australian hoteliers experienced a room boom in 2016 as international tourism sky-rocketed by more than 10%2.”

“While cities such as Townsville, Perth and Darwin experienced double-digit percentage decreases in 2016, prices that may have been originally inflated due to the mining boom of previous years are now beginning to balance out as the market settles into its new rhythm.

“The year ahead looks strong and international traveller interest in Australia will continue to grow as increased air routes open our country to more corners of the globe[2],” he said.

What Australian travellers paid overseas

The HPI also examined the average prices paid for a hotel room by Australian travellers in international destinations. The data found that, among the top 100 popular international destinations analysed, hotel accommodation was the least affordable in the United States and Greece, despite the fluctuating Australian Dollar. Australians paid the most on average per night for a bed in Lahaina ($384), followed by Mykonos ($356), New York ($345), Boston ($343) and Santorini ($329).

Australians 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 in the top 100 popular international destinations. Thanks to the steadfast exchange rate, Pattaya in Thailand was revealed as the most affordable holiday destination among those analysed, at $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.

The HPI is a regular 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 prices paid in 2016:

Average prices paid per night by international travellers in Australia 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%


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

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%


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

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%


– ENDS –


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


About Hotels.com:

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© 2017 Hotels.com. Hotel Price Index, HPI and the Hotels.com logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Hotels.com, LP in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.


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

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


[2] australianaviation.com.au/2016/12/sia-plans-boosts-capacity-to-brisbane-melbourne-and-sydney/