2012: Rain Fell, as did Hotel Prices

Wettest year on record saw 4% fall in average UK room rate 

Hotel guests staying in the UK in 2012 paid an average room rate of £100 a night, a figure 4% less than in 2011. The data, released in the latest Hotels.com® Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®), revealed that prices in 31 of the 41 UK destinations included in the report were either flat or falling. Despite celebrating a wholly British year, visitor levels were affected by the fact that 2012 was officially declared the UK’s wettest year on record, which had a particular impact on many seaside resorts.

The HPI looks at actual prices paid in 2012 by all travellers when visiting UK destinations.

Despite a 12% drop in prices, St Andrews once again topped the list of the highest priced hotel rooms in the UK with an average room rate of £135. Alongside St Andrews, prices in Jersey experienced the same percentage decrease, dropping from £112 to £98.  Large price drops were also seen in Perth (-11%), Scarborough (-9%) and Durham (-8%).

Prices in London fell by 3%, despite the global spotlight thrust upon the capital by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics. Notwithstanding the overall success of these events, overnight visitor numbers to London were lower than anticipated so hoteliers dropped prices to help stimulate demand.

Rare price rises were experienced by Belfast (10%), benefitting from the Titanic Centenary, and Aberdeen (9%), buoyed by mid-week demand generated by the energy sector.  Rises were also seen in Southampton (7%), Oxford (5%) and Inverness (4%).

The UK destination in the HPI offering the best value for money was Coventry, with an average room rate of £50 per night, exactly half the national average.

Alison Couper from Hotels.com said: “Those who braved the British weather to visit the UK during 2012 were rewarded with prices lower than the previous year in more than half of the most popular destinations. London really was the focus last year with the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee, and hotel prices were affordable for many from throughout the UK. The impending birth of a royal baby is set to keep the UK in the public eye this year and, coupled with a concerted marketing push from Visit Britain, it is hoped that visitor numbers will soon increase, providing a welcome boost to the industry.”

Average price per room per night in 2012 compared with 2011 across the UK: Top 10 most expensive in 2012

Destination20122011% change
St Andrews£135£154-12%
London£126£129-3%
Windsor£114£118-4%
Bath£113£1111%
Oxford£111£1065%
Guernsey£103£111-7%
Edinburgh£101£102-1%
Jersey£98£112-12%
Cambridge£97£104-6%
Windermere£96£98-2%

Average price per room per night in 2012 compared with 2011 across the UK: greatest percentage decreases

Destination20122011% change
St Andrews£135£154-12%
Jersey£98£112-12%
Perth£65£73-11%
Scarborough£57£63-9%
Durham£71£77-8%

Average price per room per night in 2012 compared with 2011 across the UK: greatest percentage increases

Destination20122011% change
Belfast£73£6710%
Aberdeen£93£859%
Southampton£73£687%
Oxford£111£1065%
Inverness£85£824%

For a full copy of the UK version of the HPI, visit gb.hotels.com/hotel-price-index/

For a video interview with Hotels.com’s David Roche, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjcVKiE1D0U