Introduction

The Hotels.com® Hotel Price IndexTM (HPI®) is a regular report on hotel prices in major destinations across the world. The HPI is based on bookings made on Hotels.com and prices shown are those actually paid by customers per room per night, rather than advertised rates.

Foreword

As the economy recovers, so hotel prices follow. The price paid by travellers booking a hotel room for the night increased by 2% in the first half of this year. The rise, although relatively small, maintained a trend of slowly increasing rates that we’ve seen since the start of 2010. Our Hotel Price Index is now almost back to the same level as in 2006, the year before the financial crisis began. Whether we are quite due for seven fat years after seven lean remains to be seen but, as our report shows, there are certainly some destinations where prices have begun to move as traveller demand increases.

USA led the way

The strengthening US economy helped North America and the Caribbean outperform the global average. During the first three months of the year, the US travel and tourism sector grew by 6.8%, more than double the rate of the US GDP, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. Increased international demand has led to higher occupancy rates across North America and a 3% rise in average hotel rates, showing that the region is still climbing, albeit at a slower speed than its 2012 pace of 5%. 

Benefiting from an increase in US visitors, the Caribbean HPI gained 5% during the first six months of this year. Buoyed by a 5.4% rise in visitors last year and the largest number of stayover visitors in five years, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, hoteliers in the region are optimistic. 

Although the Pacific enjoyed some of the highest increases last year, with a 6% rise during the first half of 2012, a slowdown in the Australian mineral resources industry led to a fall in the number of business travellers and growth of just 1%. Europe and the Middle East also underperformed against the global average, growing by 1% – a small increase, but a step in the right direction after finishing 2012 down slightly on the year as a whole. 

The Asian market was the only faller, down by 2%, its first fall since 2011. This was due in part to a fall in inbound visitors to China, according to the country’s National Tourism Administration. While outbound travel from China is booming, the sluggish economy and appreciation of the Yuan have hit inbound tourism. Concerns over air pollution have also contributed to a 14.3% fall in visitors to the Chinese capital during the first half of 2013, according to the Beijing Commission of Tourism Development. There was also a slight fall in the numbers travelling to Japan. 

Europe stabilised

There is no doubt that European hotel prices have been some of the most badly affected since the economic fallout in 2008/2009. The fact that the Eurozone recorded growth for the first two quarters of 2013 is evidence that the economic crisis is easing, although not yet over. While some increase is anticipated this year, it is expected to be modest and largely driven by visitors from the UK, Germany and Russia. However, many of the destinations worst hit by the downturn have seen hotel prices flatten out, with some experiencing healthy rises.

Iceland has bounced back from the recession to become one of the best performing European destinations. The Icelandic Tourist Board reports that record numbers of visitors entered the country during the two first months of the year, driven in part by interest in the Northern Lights. According to the Greek Civil Aviation Authority, Greece has also witnessed a rise in visitors, with international airport arrivals and revenues growing by 10% during the first half of 2013, as hotel prices in the country continued to offer good value.

Egyptian boost

In a similar vein, Egypt has begun the year well. The Egyptian Tourism Ministry announced a 9.6% rise in visitors during the first half of 2013 which helped Egypt regain many of the losses reported during the upheaval of the Arab Spring, although spending on tourism is still below expectations. As visitors returned, the Red Sea resorts such as Sharm-El-Sheikh benefited from higher prices. However, with Egypt returning to the global headlines as civil unrest continues, it is still too early to tell whether this progress will last.

Road to Rio

Also in the global spotlight is Brazil, as the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016 draw ever closer. Despite concerns over the readiness of Brazil’s stadia and infrastructure, and the shortage of hotel rooms, the warm-up event, the FIFA Confederations Cup in June, went well, in spite of protests and demonstrations. While Brazil’s government insists that it will be ready come 2014, debate persists. 

The devaluation of the Real against most of the major currencies over the period meant that hotel prices became less expensive for many international travellers. This, combined with the lure of the Confederations Cup, helped Brazil generate record levels of inbound tourism revenues during the first half of the year. Spending rose by 9.6% compared to the same period in 2012, according to the Brazilian Tourist Board.

With even more visitors expected next year, new hotels are being built to meet demand. By the end of 2013, Lodging Econometrics reports that nearly 60 additional properties will have opened, adding close to 9,000 rooms. Next year, a further 108 are planned, providing just under 19,000 rooms. Away from the sporting events, this increased supply should help minimise any potential rise in hotel prices, most notably in Rio de Janeiro which has traditionally seen some of the highest average rates in the world.

The Chinese take flight

Another phenomenon impacting hotel prices is the huge and rapid rise in number of Chinese international travellers. China has officially become the world’s largest outbound tourism market with an estimated 83 million overseas trips made by Chinese citizens, according to the China Tourism Academy 2013 report. The UN World Tourism Organization(UNWTO) also announced that Chinese travellers spent US$102 billion on international tourism in 2012, 40% more than in 2011, overtaking the more established tourism markets of Germany and the USA.

The momentum in this area has not been lessened by the Chinese economy, which slowed during the first half of the year, following decades of rapid growth. International travel remains an aspiration for many, especially younger travellers with the disposable income to travel abroad. As the market moves away from group to more independent travel, hotels have recognised the potential of this new market and are adapting their services accordingly. There is more information on this topic at the end of this report. 

With UNWTO predicting that international tourism as a whole will grow in 2013, the travel industry is in a period of expansion. In the air, there are new airlines and new routes, particularly in Asia. On the ground, new hotels are under construction and existing properties refurbished. It is one of the most exciting and competitive industries in the world and it never stands still.

We hope you find this latest report useful and informative.

David Roche
President
Hotels.com

1. Global price changes

The average price of a hotel room around the world rose by 2% during the first six months of 2013 compared with the same period the previous year, with the Hotel Price Index standing at 111. This is just eleven points higher than at its launch in 2004, eight points lower than its peak in the first half of 2007 and just below its H1 2006 level.

This is the fourth year running that the H1 HPI has increased but the rate of rise has halved when judged against the 4% rise in H1 2012.

Prices rose in all regions for the year, apart from Asia which saw its HPI fall for the first time in two years. Latin America registered its strongest result for more than two years and the Caribbean remained strong, while the Pacific, Europe and the Middle East showed weaker rate growth. More in-depth analysis into what caused these changes and how they influenced prices in individual cities and countries can be found below and in subsequent chapters.

Figure 1 - HPI half-yearly breakdown from H1 2004 to H1 2013 globally

Period Totals
20041 100
20042 102
20051 107
20052 108
20061 112
20062 113
20071 119
20072 118
20081 118
20082 110
20091 100
20092 98
20101 101
20102 101
20111 104
20112 105
20121 108
20122 108
20131 111

Javier Escobedo

Vice President - Hotels.com LatAm

Several factors impacted the changes in prices hotel guests paid in Latin America, some of an internal nature and related to the macroeconomic situation in the region as a whole, while others were external and related to the position of the region in a worldwide context.

Brazil, one of the giants of the region, has experienced a very different first half of 2013. A year ago, the Real was strong and exchange rates were high. Since the beginning of 2013, however, the currency has been losing value and this has a direct impact on the rates Brazilian travellers paid abroad while inflation at home also impacted domestic travel. However, inbound visitors to Brazil paid less on average with the currency exchange rate in their favour.

Many markets in the region have witnessed continuous growth in terms of domestic development and infrastructure, which has positively impacted local tourism. Colombia, one of the strongest countries in the region, is an example of this. 

Most of the top business destinations in the region, like Buenos Aires and Bogota, experienced a decrease in their prices paid as a result of an increased accommodation supply in these markets. Business travellers triggered and accelerated the development of the local offer, with new hotels opening and new accommodation options for this target market creating positive price dynamics as a result of competition from both independent and chain hotels.

As we see the US economy grow stronger, we also see its impact in Latin America. The United States is a key business partner for many countries in the region, as well as the top international destination for Latin Americans choosing their holidays abroad. During the first half of 2013, prices paid in the US as a destination have increased throughout the region, proof of the better and more consistent demand.

Europe and the Middle East had the lowest increase among all destinations chosen by Latin-Americans so they continued to be an attractive option for travellers from the region. Many favourite European destinations recorded negative growth year over year, going in an opposite direction in comparison to the region´s growth.

Strongest growth in Latin America

The HPI in Latin America saw a 7% increase in the first half of 2013 compared with the same period last year, its strongest result since the second half of 2010 and the highest rise of all the regions, way ahead of the overall global performance.

As a result, the H1 2013 HPI for Latin America reached 126, second only to the Caribbean which has also seen a consistent increase over the past few years. 

The Latin American HPI set its peak of 129 in the first half of 2007 so the index does not have far to rise to match or pass this figure.

Robust rise in the Caribbean

The Caribbean recorded another robust performance with its HPI rising 5% during the first six months of 2013, compared with the same period in 2012, the second largest regional increase. 

The Caribbean H1 2013 HPI climbed to 133, only three points behind its all-time high of 136 from the first half of 2007 so a new record could soon be established here.

Figure 2 – HPI half-yearly breakdown for LatAm and the Caribbean from H1 2004 to H1 2013 

Period LATAM Caribbean
20041 100 100
20042 107 102
20051 120 113
20052 116 119
20061 128 130
20062 125 126
20071 129 136
20072 128 128
20081 128 129
20082 127 118
20091 120 118
20092 112 111
20101 115 118
20102 116 114
20111 118 120
20112 124 119
20121 119 126
20122 124 127
20131 126 133

Neha Parikh

Vice President - Hotels.com North America

Mark Twain once said: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Thanks to innovations in technology, travel (which is a direct path toward exploring, dreaming and discovering) has become more accessible to everyone, not just from a budget standpoint but from the way you book, where you stay and what you do when you get there.

Whether it’s visiting the lush vineyards of Cape Town, or the ancient temples of Chiang Mai, or seeing a stunning sunset in Santa Fe (all places that have become a little more affordable for US travellers to visit this year), once you get a taste of all of the incredible places to explore in the world, it’s hard to conceive of a life without travel.

In the US, the projected increase of inbound international travellersi has inspired new hotels as well as hotel expansion. More than 600 hotels are opening in 2013 alone according to STR Analytics. Experts say the hotel pipeline will continue to grow in the coming years and keep the influx of international visitors, especially those from Chinaii, steady. 

And Canada is no exception. Thanks to a 3.8% increase in travellers from the US to Canadaiii along with rises in tourism from other countries, there has been a steady growth of new hotels in the past year. Travellers may choose from boutique properties that surround Niagara Lake, to 4-star luxury in Vancouver. The variety of hotel choices throughout the provinces will satisfy most any whim for a weekend away. 

Hotels aren’t just growing, they are getting smarter. They are catering to targeted audiences like the millennial generation as well as busy business travellers with tech-savvy hotel amenities and innovative loyalty programmes promoted via social media. Today, a new social/mobile traveller has emerged that is more connected not only to their personal networks but to choices in accommodation, excursions and a plethora of ways to share their experiences with friends.

Let the Hotel Price Index be your guide to explore, dream and discover your wanderlust; to identify luxurious locations for less and help you find the wonders in your own backyard.

Rates still growing but slowing in North America

The North American HPI rose 3% in the first half of 2013, compared with the same period last year. The rate of growth in the North American Index has slowed since its 5% rise in 2011 and the first half of 2012. With this increase, the North American H1 2013 HPI rose to 112.

This is its highest level since the second half of 2008 but it is still some way behind its peak of 119 from the first half of 2007, although the gap is closing. The North American HPI was last at this level in the first half of 2006.

Figure 3 – HPI half-yearly breakdown for North America from H1 2004 to H1 2013

Period North America
20041 100
20042 103
20051 107
20052 109
20061 112
20062 113
20071 119
20072 118
20081 117
20082 109
20091 98
20092 97
20101 99
20102 100
20111 103
20112 105
20121 109
20122 109
20131 112

Matthew Walls

Vice President - Hotels.com EMEA

Hotel prices across Europe and the Middle East continued to mirror overall economic conditions very closely with the first half of 2013 demonstrating a slight improvement compared to 2012. Having said that, with only a 1% rise in the HPI versus the same period last year, average prices for travellers in the region still remain lower than they were seven years ago; in 2006.

In 2012, we saw hotel pricing in Southern Europe closely reflecting the significant economic downturn, but there has been a clear bounce-back in the early part of 2013 in many of the destinations most impacted by the crisis. Destinations in the stronger Northern European economies show a much more stable pattern.

London hotel prices saw some volatility in 2012. Whilst the Olympics itself was a resounding success, many hoteliers struggled to respond to the significant shifts in demand. Prices were originally set relatively high but, once large blocks of accommodation being held by the organising committee were released, there was a last minute rush, which particularly benefitted domestic consumers. The capital gained unprecedented worldwide media coverage as well as an expanded and much improved hotel stock. Prices have now stabilised, with rates in the UK showing an increase on the same time last year as occupancy rates rose.

Due largely to the weaker economic conditions, European customers have materially changed their travel patterns in the last few years with a significant rise in domestic and short trips at the expense of long-haul destinations. However, with the fall in value of several major currencies such as the Japanese Yen, Indian Rupee and Brazilian Real, lower prices in these markets may help to stimulate the long-distance travel juices once again.

In the Middle East, Dubai continued as the powerhouse of the region with a record number of visitors for the first six months of the year, according to the Department of Tourism and Commerce. Dubai is well on its way to achieving its Tourism Vision for 2020, whereby the city plans to double its annual visitor numbers from 10 million in 2012 to 20 million in 2020.

Slight rise in Europe and Middle East

The HPI for Europe and the Middle East for the first half of 2013 grew by 1%, compared to the same period in 2012, the same level of increase as the Pacific region and trailing the global performance.

Following this slight rise, the H1 2013 HPI for Europe and the Middle East reached 104, the lowest of all the regions.

This is only four index points above where it stood in 2004 at the launch of the HPI and is still lower than its 2006 level. Hotel prices in much of Europe continued to be affected by various struggling economies in the Eurozone.

Figure 4 - HPI half-yearly breakdown for Europe and the Middle East  from H1 2004 to H1 2013

Period Europe & Middle East
20041 100
20042 101
20051 103
20052 99
20061 106
20062 109
20071 116
20072 116
20081 116
20082 111
20091 100
20092 101
20101 101
20102 101
20111 102
20112 103
20121 103
20122 101
20131 104

Johan Svanström

Vice President - Hotels.com APAC

While the rest of the world continued its steady road to recovery, results were mixed across the Asia Pacific region. Following a period of rapid expansion in the hotel sector, growth in hotel room rates halted, partly because of the slowdown in the region’s previously booming economies (China, India and Australia) and because of instability in some currencies, such as the Japanese Yen and Indian Rupee. 

Despite these modest results from a hotel rate perspective, the outlook remains positive as hoteliers focus on taking advantage of the thriving outbound markets of the region’s growing economies. UNWTO reported that China is now the world’s biggest spender on international travel, driven by an ever growing middle class, continued relaxed visa requirements, and improved infrastructure. 

The growth of low-cost air carriers, particularly now also in North East Asia, continued to drive both domestic and international travel. 

In the first half of 2013, Asia experienced a decline of 2% in average room rates. A subdued growth in some of Asia’s dominant economies was a contributor to this decline, though certain countries faced specific challenges. 

The rapidly weakening Yen in Japan, one of Asia’s biggest outbound travel marketsiv, meant that international travel demand tapered off, affecting particularly the huge outbound segment to South Korea, where rates lowered significantly. The flip side of the weak currency was, however, good news for the country’s inbound tourism market. Hotel prices became more affordable for most inbound visitors, strengthening further the attractiveness of destinations in Japan. 

In India, Asia’s third largest consumer marketv, the deterioration of the Rupee to record lows had a big impact on discretionary spending, including particularly overseas travel. The country’s inbound tourism market was also impacted significantly following several incidents of violent crimes early in 2013, which gained global media attention. 

After an average growth rate of 8% year on year between 2010 and 2012, the rate of price increases in the Pacific slowed dramatically, with the region witnessing a modest 1% rise in the first half of 2013.

This result is unsurprising given the severe tightening of the mining sector and political uncertainty in Australia, the region’s major economy. The recent fall in the Australian Dollar against the US Dollar will likely start to affect travel demand and rates in the second half, possibly keeping local and inbound business strong.

Slowdown in the Pacific

The Pacific region recorded its slowest HPI growth since 2009 with a 1% increase in the first half of 2013 when compared with the same period in 2012, matching that of Europe and the Middle East.

The Pacific HPI for H1 2013 rose to 120, the third highest of the regions behind the Caribbean and Latin America.

This is eight index points behind its peak of 128 established in the second half of 2007 and is lower than the second half of 2006.

Asia the only faller

Hotel prices in Asia fell by 2% in the first half of 2013, compared with the same period in 2012, the only region to record a fall.

The Asia HPI stood at 105 for H1 2013, the second lowest region ahead of Europe and the Middle East. It has the most ground to make up on its H2 2007 peak of 137 and is still behind its 2005 level, although individual cities in the area have performed well.

Figure 5 - HPI half-yearly breakdown for Asia and the Pacific from H1 2004 to H1 2013

Period ASIA PACIFIC
20041 100 100
20042 103 102
20051 106 108
20052 115 116
20061 121 118
20062 125 124
20071 125 126
20072 137 128
20081 132 128
20082 129 116
20091 110 98
20092 106 98
20101 109 106
20102 111 110
20111 103 112
20112 110 120
20121 108 119
20122 110 124
20131 105 120

Figure 6 - HPI half-yearly breakdown by region from H1 2004 to H1 2013

Period ASIA Caribbean Europe & Middle East LATAM North America PACIFIC
20041 100 100 100 100 100 100
20042 103 102 101 107 103 102
20051 106 113 103 120 107 108
20052 115 119 99 116 109 116
20061 121 130 106 128 112 118
20062 125 126 109 125 113 124
20071 125 136 116 129 119 126
20072 137 128 116 128 118 128
20081 132 129 116 128 117 128
20082 129 118 111 127 109 116
20091 110 118 100 120 98 98
20092 106 111 101 112 97 98
20101 109 118 101 115 99 106
20102 111 114 101 116 100 110
20111 103 120 102 118 103 112
20112 110 119 103 124 105 120
20121 108 126 103 119 109 119
20122 110 127 101 124 109 124
20131 105 133 104 126 112 120

i http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-international-travel-to-grow-20130610,0,2223628.stor

ii http://www.ttrweekly.com/site/2013/06/china-travel-boom-reaches-us/

iii https://en-corporate.canada.travel/infographic/may-2013

iv ITB World Travel Trends Report 2011/2012: http://www.itb-Kongress.de/media/itbk/itbk_media/itbk_pdf/WTTR_Report_komplett_web.pdf

v 3 Euromonitor International, June 25, 2013: http://blog.euromonitor.com/2013/06/top-five-consumer-markets-in-asia-pacific-mounting-inflation-and-falling-currencies-to-impact-consum.html

2. Price changes in global city destinations

The following sections reflect the actual prices paid by travellers from the UK in Pound Sterling (£) during the first six months of 2013 compared to prices paid in Pound Sterling during the same period in 2012, except in Chapter 4 where the data shows prices paid in the UK by all travellers from around the world. 

UK travellers spent more in over half of the international destinations included in the HPI with increases mainly coming in the USA and many holiday destinations around the world such as Cancun, Sharm El Sheikh and Marrakech, while Asia continued to provide some of the best value. Of the 111 cities included in the report, average prices paid were up in 61, flat in 11 and down in 39.

European prices stabilised

The economic situation in the Eurozone continued to run its course but gains were greater than losses in the prices paid in the European cities covered by the report over this period.

In this post-Olympic period, domestic travellers to London paid 4% more on average for their hotel rooms to £116, while rates in Edinburgh were flat on £95. Further details and explanations of price moves in the UK can be found in Chapter 4.

With an average of £189, Monte Carlo held onto the overall top slot ahead of Muscat as the destination in the HPI where UK travellers paid the most, in spite of a fall of 10%. Other fallers included Warsaw, losing 20% to £65 and Kiev down 18% to £103, as prices in both cities settled to more traditional levels after the UEFA European Football Championship in June 2012. 

There was continued recovery in prices paid in several of the cities most affected by the economic downturn. Reykjavik grew 15% to £95, Dublin added a further 8% to £79 and Lisbon was up 4% to £79. 

There was a mixed picture in Spain with Benidorm and Marbella climbing 14% to £80 and £122 respectively while Palma de Mallorca and Ibiza both added 4% to £105, due to high demand in the Balearic Islands over this period. However, Alicante was flat on £65, Barcelona dipped 1% to £104 and Madrid fell 3% to £81, suffering from a lack of demand from the domestic and Italian markets. Torremolinos also dropped 4% to £63. 

In Italy, Venice was down 7% to £128, Milan down 2% to £107 and Rome flat on £108.

However, there were other European cities painting a different state of affairs. Vilnius was up 17% to £63 and Cannes was another winner, up 11% to £162. Two Eastern European city break destinations both rose 10% with Dubrovnik up to £134 and Prague rising to £78. 

In Germany, an 11% increase took Frankfurt to £112, the capital Berlin, traditionally with some of the best value rooms, rose 6% to £78 and Munich grew 4% to £112. 

The destination offering the greatest value in Europe was Riga on an average £60 a night in spite of a 3% rise. 

Prices up in the Middle East and North Africa

Following the turmoil and uncertainty created by the Arab Spring, several destinations hardest hit by the insecurity in the region saw less need for discounting during the first half of 2013. Consequently, average prices rose.

In Egypt, the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh had been severely impacted by the drop in foreign tourists but added 30% in the period covered by the report, the second highest rise in the HPI, to an average £104 a night, while rates in the capital Cairo also grew 16% to £111. With the country once more in recent headlines, hotel prices could again be impacted.

Dubai, the most popular destination in the region, saw high occupancy and new upmarket hotels drive its rates up 6% to £144. In a global first, a new giant airport concourse has been opened in the Emirate just for the Airbus A380 super-jumbos.

This is part of expansion plans for the facility to become the world’s busiest airport by 2015. Conversely, rates in Abu Dhabi dropped 3% to £111 and by 2% in Doha to £121.

Marrakech also gained from the increased optimism in the market with a 24% rise to £90. Jerusalem increased 9% to £128 and Muscat, the second highest destination in the HPI for UK travellers, was up 5% to £188.

Rises slowed in the USA

Occupancy rates across the US, particularly in the major cities, were up in the first six months of 2013, especially in the first quarter. This contributed to price rises for UK travellers in 12 of the 15 US destinations in the HPI, although not as high as in recent reports.

The steepest were in Florida with Miami and Key West both having the highest increase of 13% to £150 and £179 respectively with Fort Lauderdale up 8% to £116. As a result of this increase, Key West reached fourth place on the overall price table. Orlando, though, was one of the fallers, seeing a drop of 7% to £72. 

On the west coast, Seattle gained 12% to £132, San Francisco added 9% to £139 and 8% climbs took both Los Angeles to £134 and San Diego to £108. 

The major northeast cities had varying results. New York is traditionally the US destination where UK travellers pay the most but was overtaken in this report by Key West, albeit by just £1 a night. This was in spite of a rise of 4% to £178 in the Big Apple, placing it at No 5 in the chart. Washington DC was up by the same percentage to £131 but Boston fell 2% to £148.

Australian results stumbled

The current slump in the mineral resources boom hit Western Australia in particular as corporate demand suffered. Perth recorded its first fall in rates for several years, down 4% to £139, although this was still the highest in the country.

China is Australia’s fastest growing tourist market and their arrivals helped buoy up results in other areas. Sydney saw its average rise 15% to £137 and Melbourne added 5% to £108 while rates in Brisbane were flat on £114.

An increase in visitor rates to New Zealand over the period of the report helped Wellington record a 5% gain in its average to £81 but Auckland fell back 5% to £68.

Winners and losers in Asia

The rise in the number of Chinese travellers continued to impact this region more than any other and this, coupled with an increase in the number of low cost carriers and new routes, helped to stimulate demand, particularly in South-East Asia. On the other hand, the fall in value of the Yen and Rupee deterred international travel from Japan and India but had a beneficial effect on their domestic tourism. Price rises, where they occurred, were relatively modest and Asia still offered the best value prices for UK travellers in the HPI, occupying the bottom six places in the overall price table.

Hotel prices in many of the major cities actually fell over this period. Hanoi was down 13% to £41. Seoul and Mumbai both took a 9% drop to a respective £99 and £101 while Kyoto lost 7% to £90 as the Yen fell in value. In Hong Kong, where hotel prices have been on a steady increase for a number of years, the average price paid decreased by 4% to £122, despite an increase in tourist arrivals as new hotel openings increased supply. A 2% slip took Tokyo to £102 and Delhi to £88, another market where an increase in the number of hotel rooms had a dampening effect on prices.

On the other hand, three cities recorded 6% gains: Taipei to £107, Kuala Lumpur to £83 and Beijing to £76. Singapore grew 4% to £142.

Amongst the most popular Thai holiday favourites, Pattaya had the highest increase in the region, up 10% to £49 and Koh Samui was next, up 7% to £82. Krabi and Phuket both added 2% to £77 and £78 respectively, with Bangkok’s rise close behind, up 1% to £63. In contrast, Chiang Mai tumbled 15% to £44 and other resorts in the region had similar results: Cambodia’s Siem Reap, also down 15% to £45 with Bali and Goa both down 12% to £102 and £68 respectively.

Rates paid in Phnom Penh fell 1% over this period, making the Cambodian capital the destination with the lowest prices in the HPI for UK travellers at £35 a night.

Mexico ahead in Latin America

Mexico had by far the strongest performance in Latin America in the first half of 2013 with UK travellers paying 32% more at £147 to visit the Caribbean resort of Cancun and 11% more at £98 for the capital Mexico City.

Elsewhere in the region, though, visitors from the UK paid less. In Brazil as the Real fell in value, Sao Paulo was down 17% to £119 and Rio de Janeiro fell 1% to £180 in third place in the price table, as the country staged the FIFA Confederations Cup in June and prepared for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. Buenos Aires was another faller, down 8% to £79, and Bogota slipped 3% to £96.

Figure 7 – The biggest percentage price rises and falls in H1 2013 compared with H1 2012

Destination H1 2013 H1 2012 % change
Warsaw £65 £82 -20%
Kiev £103 £126 -18%
Sao Paulo £119 £143 -17%
Siem Reap £45 £53 -15%
Chiang Mai £44 £52 -15%
Langkawi £126 £147 -14%
Hanoi £41 £48 -13%
Bali £102 £117 -12%
Goa £68 £77 -12%
Monte Carlo £189 £209 -10%
Seoul £99 £109 -9%
Mumbai £101 £111 -9%
Buenos Aires £79 £86 -8%
Cape Town £102 £111 -8%
Kyoto £90 £97 -7%
Venice £128 £138 -7%
Orlando £72 £77 -7%
Auckland £68 £72 -5%
Vienna £91 £95 -5%
Washington DC £54 £56 -5%
Los Angeles £134 £123 8%
Boston £58 £53 8%
San Diego £108 £100 8%
Fort Lauderdale £116 £107 8%
Dublin £79 £73 8%
Jerusalem £128 £116 9%
San Francisco £139 £127 9%
Dubrovnik £134 £122 10%
Prague £78 £71 10%
Pattaya £49 £44 10%
Mexico City £98 £89 11%
Cannes £162 £146 11%
Frankfurt £112 £101 11%
Seattle £132 £118 12%
Key West £179 £158 13%
Miami £150 £133 13%
Benidorm £80 £71 14%
Marbella £122 £108 14%
Reykjavik £95 £82 15%
Sydney £137 £120 15%
Cairo £111 £96 16%
Vilnius £63 £54 17%
Marrakech £90 £72 24%
Sharm El Sheikh £104 £80 30%
Cancun £147 £111 32%

Figure 8 – Ratio of population size to the number of hotel rooms 

City Population 2011 Ratio of inhabitants to hotel rooms
Orlando 243,195 2
Las Vegas 589,317 4
Washington DC 617,996 8
Miami 408,750 9
New Orleans 360,740 11
San Francisco 812,826 17
Frankfurt 691,518 18
Tokyo 2,618,772 19
Boston 625,087 24
Chicago 2,707,120 26
Geneva 194,245 32
Barcelona 1,620,943 35
Los Angeles 3,819,702 40
Zurich 319,915 48
Berlin 3,292,365 55
Brussels 1,138,854 57
Dublin 1,187,176 64
Madrid 3,265,038 69
Bangkok 8,280,925 84
New York 8,244,910 86
Hong Kong 7,061,200 93
London 11,905,500 99
Singapore 5,312,400 103
Hong Kong 7,100,000 106
Sydney 4,627,345 138
Rio de Janeiro 6,323,037 192
Taipei 8,000,000 297
Moscow 11,503,501 311
Seoul 10,442,426 385

This graphic looks at the relationship between the size of a city, using its total population, and the number of hotel rooms available within that city. It highlights those with a robust hotel stock and others where there could be under-supply. Generally speaking, a shortage of rooms will lead to higher average prices. The figure in the circle is the ratio of the number of individuals in the population to each hotel room.

Table 1 – Average hotel prices in H1 2013 compared with H1 2012

Destination H1 2013 H1 2012 % change
Monte Carlo £189 £209 -10%
Muscat £188 £180 5%
Rio de Janeiro £180 £182 -1%
Key West £179 £158 13%
New York £178 £172 4%
Moscow £164 £162 2%
Cannes £162 £146 11%
Geneva £161 £164 -2%
Miami £150 £133 13%
Boston £148 £152 -2%
Cancun £147 £111 32%
Dubai £144 £136 6%
Singapore £142 £136 4%
San Francisco £139 £127 9%
Perth £139 £145 -4%
Zurich £139 £139 0%
Sydney £137 £120 15%
Dubrovnik £134 £122 10%
Los Angeles £134 £123 8%
Seattle £132 £118 12%
Washington DC £131 £125 4%
Venice £128 £138 -7%
Paris £128 £127 1%
Jerusalem £128 £116 9%
Langkawi £126 £147 -14%
Marbella £122 £108 14%
Hong Kong £122 £128 -4%
Chicago £122 £116 5%
Nice £122 £118 3%
Doha £121 £123 -2%
Sao Paulo £119 £143 -17%
St. Petersburg £116 £113 2%
LONDON £116 £112 4%
Fort Lauderdale £116 £107 8%
Johannesburg £116 £117 -1%
Brisbane £114 £114 0%
Frankfurt £112 £101 11%
Munich £112 £107 4%
New Orleans £111 £109 3%
Abu Dhabi £111 £115 -3%
Cairo £111 £96 16%
Amsterdam £110 £113 -3%
San Diego £108 £100 8%
Melbourne £108 £102 5%
Rome £108 £108 0%
Vancouver £107 £111 -3%
Florence £107 £107 0%
Milan £107 £108 -2%
Taipei £107 £100 6%
Toronto £107 £104 3%
Istanbul £106 £99 7%
Ibiza £105 £101 4%
Palma de Mallorca £105 £100 4%
Barcelona £104 £103 1%
Sharm El Sheikh £104 £80 30%
Kiev £103 £126 -18%
Bali £102 £117 -12%
Tokyo £102 £104 -2%
Cape Town £102 £111 -8%
Mumbai £101 £111 -9%
Seoul £99 £109 -9%
Mexico City £98 £89 11%
Bruges £96 £98 -2%
Bogota £96 £99 -3%
EDINBURGH £95 £95 0%
Brussels £95 £96 -1%
Reykjavik £95 £82 15%
Vienna £91 £95 -5%
Kyoto £90 £97 -7%
Marrakech £90 £72 24%
Antalya £89 £91 -2%
Delhi £88 £90 -2%
Grand Canyon £85 £83 2%
Las Vegas £83 £83 0%
Kuala Lumpur £83 £78 6%
Koh Samui £82 £77 7%
Shanghai £81 £82 0%
Madrid £81 £84 -3%
Wellington £81 £77 5%
Benidorm £80 £71 14%
Buenos Aires £79 £86 -8%
Lisbon £79 £76 4%
Dublin £79 £73 8%
Prague £78 £71 10%
Phuket £78 £76 2%
Berlin £78 £73 6%
Bucharest £77 £75 2%
Krabi £77 £75 2%
Beijing £76 £72 6%
Albufeira £74 £70 7%
Athens £74 £74 0%
Orlando £72 £77 -7%
Osaka £72 £72 0%
Budapest £69 £66 5%
Auckland £68 £72 -5%
Tallinn £68 £67 2%
Goa £68 £77 -12%
Warsaw £65 £82 -20%
Alicante £65 £66 0%
Bratislava £65 £61 6%
Krakow £63 £62 1%
Vilnius £63 £54 17%
Torremolinos £63 £65 -4%
Bangkok £63 £62 1%
Riga £60 £58 3%
Ho Chi Minh City £60 £60 0%
Pattaya £49 £44 10%
Siem Reap £45 £53 -15%
Chiang Mai £44 £52 -15%
Hanoi £41 £48 -13%
Phnom Penh £35 £36 -1%

Table 2 - The biggest percentage price rises in H1 2013 compared with H1 2012

Destination H1 2013 H1 2012 % change
Warsaw £65 £82 -20%
Kiev £103 £126 -18%
Sao Paulo £119 £143 -17%
Siem Reap £45 £53 -15%
Chiang Mai £44 £52 -15%
Langkawi £126 £147 -14%
Hanoi £41 £48 -13%
Bali £102 £117 -12%
Goa £68 £77 -12%
Monte Carlo £189 £209 -10%
Seoul £99 £109 -9%
Mumbai £101 £111 -9%
Buenos Aires £79 £86 -8%
Cape Town £102 £111 -8%
Kyoto £90 £97 -7%
Venice £128 £138 -7%
Orlando £72 £77 -7%
Auckland £68 £72 -5%
Vienna £91 £95 -5%
Washington DC £54 £56 -5%
Los Angeles £134 £123 8%
Boston £58 £53 8%
San Diego £108 £100 8%
Fort Lauderdale £116 £107 8%
Dublin £79 £73 8%
Jerusalem £128 £116 9%
San Francisco £139 £127 9%
Dubrovnik £134 £122 10%
Prague £78 £71 10%
Pattaya £49 £44 10%
Mexico City £98 £89 11%
Cannes £162 £146 11%
Frankfurt £112 £101 11%
Seattle £132 £118 12%
Key West £179 £158 13%
Miami £150 £133 13%
Benidorm £80 £71 14%
Marbella £122 £108 14%
Reykjavik £95 £82 15%
Sydney £137 £120 15%
Cairo £111 £96 16%
Vilnius £63 £54 17%
Marrakech £90 £72 24%
Sharm El Sheikh £104 £80 30%
Cancun £147 £111 32%

Table 3 - The biggest percentage price falls in H1 2013 compared with H1 2012

Destination H1 2013 H1 2012 % change
Warsaw £65 £82 -20%
Kiev £103 £126 -18%
Sao Paulo £119 £143 -17%
Siem Reap £45 £53 -15%
Chiang Mai £44 £52 -15%
Langkawi £126 £147 -14%
Hanoi £41 £48 -13%
Bali £102 £117 -12%
Goa £68 £77 -12%
Monte Carlo £189 £209 -10%
Seoul £99 £109 -9%
Mumbai £101 £111 -9%
Buenos Aires £79 £86 -8%
Cape Town £102 £111 -8%
Kyoto £90 £97 -7%
Venice £128 £138 -7%
Orlando £72 £77 -7%
Auckland £68 £72 -5%
Vienna £91 £95 -5%
Washington DC £54 £56 -5%

Table 4 – Best city beaches

Destination Price
Lisbon £79
Cape Town £102
Barcelona  £104
Vancouver £107
Chicago £122
Hong Kong £122
Sydney £137
Dubai £144
Miami Beach £150
Rio de Janeiro £180

Table 5 – Cities in song titles

Destination

Price

Memphis

£76

Las Vegas

£83

Barcelona

£104

Amsterdam

£110

LONDON

£116

Chicago

£122

San Francisco

£139

Miami

£150

New York

£178

Rio de Janeiro

£180

Table 6 – Best Christmas markets

Destination Price
Budapest £69
Prague £78
Dublin £79
Vienna £91
Brussels £95
Nuremberg £95
Bruges £96
Jersey £99
Barcelona £104
LONDON £116

Table 7 – Top celebrity cemeteries

Destination Price
Memphis £76
Buenos Aires £79
STRATFORD-UPON-AVON £91
Palm Springs £102
LONDON £116
St Petersburg £116
Paris £128
Washington DC £131
Seattle £132
Los Angeles £134

Table 8 – Best party destinations

Destination Price
Ayia Napa £75
Berlin £78
Dublin £79
Las Vegas £83
Atlantic City £83
Reykjavik £95
Ibiza £105
Amsterdam £110
Marbella £122
Rio de Janeiro £180

Table 9 – Best destinations for romance

Destination Price
Seville £79
Koh Samui £82
Santiago £94
Bali £102
Florence £107
Rome £108
Paris £128
Venice £128
Foz Do Iguacu  £147
Mauritius £171

Table 10 – Top European football cities

Destination Price
Dortmund £66
Glasgow £72
MANCHESTER £77
Madrid £81
Turin £88
Barcelona £104
Milan £107
Munich £112
LONDON £116
Paris  £128

compiled from teams qualifying for the Round of 16 at the 2012/13 UEFA Champions’ League

Table 11 – Most 3-star Michelin restaurants

Destination Price
Tokyo £102
Paris £128
New York £178
Kyoto £90
Hong Kong £122
Osaka £72
San Sebastian £108
Bruges £96
LONDON £116
MAIDENHEAD (Bray) £75

Figure 9 - Global hotel price changes in H1 2013 compared with H1 2012

Destination H1 2013 H1 2012 % change
Muscat £188 £180 5%
Rio de Janeiro £180 £182 -1%
New York £178 £172 4%
Moscow £164 £162 2%
Cancun £147 £111 32%
Dubai £144 £136 6%
Singapore £142 £136 4%
San Francisco £139 £127 9%
Perth £139 £145 -4%
Sydney £137 £120 15%
Hong Kong £122 £128 -4%
St. Petersburg £116 £113 2%
LONDON £116 £112 4%
New Orleans £111 £109 3%
Tokyo £102 £104 -2%
Cape Town £102 £111 -8%
Mumbai £101 £111 -9%
Bogota £96 £99 -3%
Marrakech £90 £72 24%
Las Vegas £83 £83 0%
Buenos Aires £79 £86 -8%
Berlin £78 £73 6%
Beijing £76 £72 6%
Athens £74 £74 0%
Pattaya £49 £44 10%

3. Price changes by country

In the first six months of 2013, UK travellers paid more for their hotel rooms in more than two-thirds of the countries included in the HPI, although increases were in the main smaller than in previous years, with rates affected by the more stable situation across most of the Middle East and North Africa and the strength of individual economies such as Mexico. The ongoing uncertainty in the Eurozone continued to minimise the increases in many European markets. 

In Europe, the largest fall was seen in the Ukraine, where UK travellers paid 18% less in this period to £99 as rates adjusted following the UEFA European Football Championship there in the summer of 2012. In joint hosts Poland, prices fell 8% to an average £61.

Elsewhere, Monaco fell 9% to £184, although the principality still occupied second place in the overall price chart. Luxembourg recorded a 7% fall to £92, the Netherlands was down 4% to £99 and there were 3% slips in Slovenia and Austria to £90. 

At the other end of the scale, Iceland and Lithuania both climbed 13% to a respective £95 and £60. Norway was also in double figures with a 12% gain to £133 and the Czech Republic recorded a strong performance, up 10% to £78, with Malta up 9% to £90. In the UK, domestic travellers paid 3% more to £86.

European countries most affected by the economic crisis seemed to have turned the corner. As well as Iceland’s success, Ireland rose 6% to £76, Portugal added 5% to £87, Spain grew 2% to the same figure, prices paid in Greece were flat at £89 and Cyprus fell 9% to £89.  

The Middle East and North Africa performed well as stability returned to much of the region. Egypt rose 25% to £92, Tunisia climbed 22% to £73, Saudi Arabia recorded a 20% increase to £150, taking it to fourth place in the overall table, and Morocco averaged £83 after a 12% gain. Oman became the destination in the HPI where UK travellers paid the most after a 7% rise to £186 and the United Arab Emirates added 5% to £138. However, Jordan fell 6% to £130 and Qatar slipped 2% to £121.

In Asia, the fastest faller was Indonesia, down 14% to £92, followed by South Korea, down 10% to £97. A 6% drop took India to £81 while Japan fell by 5% to £92 and Cambodia lost the same percentage amount to reach £45, becoming the country in the HPI where UK travellers paid the least during the first half of 2013. However, three countries saw a 4% rise taking Singapore to £142, Taiwan to £100 and the Philippines to £71. China and Thailand both added 2% to £77 and £69 respectively.

Mexico was the star performer in Latin America, gaining 20% to £123 with a big gap to the next fastest riser, Costa Rica, with a 7% rise to £99, and Colombia, up 5% to £104. In the build-up to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, UK travellers spent 6% less on their hotel rooms in Brazil at £147, due to a more favourable exchange rate, although this was still the most paid in Latin America. The country was not the biggest loser, though, as Argentina fell 10% to £81 and Chile dropped 9% to £97.

A decline in the mineral resources industry helped to contain Australia’s rates to a 5% rise to £120. Increases also slowed in the USA which saw a 4% upswing to £118 and neighbouring Canada added 2% to £108. South Africa fell by 9% to £104.

Of the 68 countries included in the report, UK travellers paid more in 39, the same in seven and less in 22.

Table 12 – Average hotel prices by country in H1 2013 compared with H1 2012

Destination H1 2013 H1 2012 % change
Oman £186 £174 7%
Monaco £184 £202 -9%
Mauritius £171 £152 13%
Saudi Arabia £150 £125 20%
Russia £147 £145 2%
Brazil £147 £156 -6%
Israel £142 £139 3%
Singapore £142 £136 4%
Switzerland £141 £142 0%
United Arab Emirates £138 £132 5%
Norway £133 £119 12%
Jordan £130 £139 -6%
Mexico £123 £102 20%
Qatar £121 £123 -2%
Australia £120 £115 5%
Sweden £119 £118 1%
Croatia £119 £118 1%
USA £118 £113 4%
Italy £109 £111 -2%
Denmark £108 £108 0%
Canada £108 £106 2%
Finland £107 £106 1%
Colombia £104 £99 5%
South Africa £104 £115 -9%
France £104 £104 0%
Taiwan £100 £96 4%
Turkey £99 £99 0%
Netherlands £99 £104 -4%
Costa Rica £99 £92 7%
Ukraine £99 £120 -18%
South Korea £97 £108 -10%
Chile £97 £107 -9%
Iceland £95 £84 13%
Belgium £92 £92 0%
Japan £92 £97 -5%
Indonesia £92 £107 -14%
Luxembourg £92 £98 -7%
Egypt £92 £73 25%
Slovenia £90 £93 -3%
Malta £90 £83 9%
Austria £90 £93 -3%
Germany £90 £87 3%
Cyprus £89 £98 -9%
Greece £89 £89 0%
Spain £87 £86 2%
Portugal £87 £83 5%
Malaysia £87 £87 0%
UNITED KINGDOM £86 £84 3%
Morocco £83 £74 12%
Argentina £81 £90 -10%
India £81 £86 -6%
Czech Republic £78 £71 10%
China £77 £75 2%
Ireland £76 £72 6%
New Zealand £76 £75 1%
Tunisia £73 £60 22%
Philippines £71 £69 4%
Romania £71 £72 -1%
Thailand £69 £68 2%
Hungary £69 £66 5%
Estonia £68 £67 2%
Slovakia £66 £63 5%
Poland £61 £67 -8%
Vietnam £61 £61 1%
Latvia £61 £59 3%
Lithuania £60 £53 13%
Bulgaria £58 £60 -3%
Cambodia £45 £47 -5%

Table 13 - The biggest percentage price rises in H1 2013 compared with H1 2012

Destination H1 2013 H1 2012 % change
Egypt £92 £73 25%
Tunisia £73 £60 22%
Mexico £123 £102 20%
Saudi Arabia £150 £125 20%
Lithuania £60 £53 13%
Iceland £95 £84 13%
Mauritius £171 £152 13%
Morocco £83 £74 12%
Norway £133 £119 12%
Czech Republic £78 £71 10%
Malta £90 £83 9%
Costa Rica £99 £92 7%
Oman £186 £174 7%
Ireland £76 £72 6%
Colombia £104 £99 5%
Portugal £87 £83 5%
Slovakia £66 £63 5%
Hungary £69 £66 5%
United Arab Emirates £138 £132 5%

Table 14 - The biggest percentage price falls in H1 2013 compared with H1 2012

Destination H1 2013 H1 2012 % change
Ukraine £99 £120 -18%
Indonesia £92 £107 -14%
South Korea £97 £108 -10%
Argentina £81 £90 -10%
Cyprus £89 £98 -9%
Chile £97 £107 -9%
South Africa £104 £115 -9%
Monaco £184 £202 -9%
Poland £61 £67 -8%
Luxembourg £92 £98 -7%
Jordan £130 £139 -6%
Brazil £147 £156 -6%
India £81 £86 -6%
Cambodia £45 £47 -5%
Japan £92 £97 -5%

Table 15 - World’s largest economies 2013

Destination Price
USA £118
China £77
Japan £92
Germany £90
France £104
UNITED KINGDOM £86
Brazil £147
Russia £147
Italy £109
India £81

As per International Monetary Fund

Table 16 - World’s sexiest accents

Destination Rating
France £104
Italy £109
ENGLAND £86
Spain £87
Sweden £119
Norway £133
Finland £107
Denmark £108
China £77
Japan £92

As voted in a Hotels.com survey of more than 8,000 international travellers

Table 17 - Top welcoming countries 

Destination Price
USA £118
Spain £87
Japan £92
Thailand £69
Italy £109
Mexico £123
Greece £89
Germany £90
UNITED KINGDOM £86
Australia £120

As voted in a Hotels.com survey of 27,000 travellers around the world

Table 18 - Top countries for family dining 

Destination Price
Italy £109
USA £118
Japan £92
China £77
France £104
Mexico £123
Spain £87
Argentina £81
Brazil £147
Australia £120

As voted in a Hotels.com survey of 27,000 travellers around the world

Figure 10 – Average hotel prices by country in H1 2013 compared with H1 2012

Destination H1 2013 H1 2012 % change
Oman £186 £174 7%
Monaco £184 £202 -9%
Brazil £147 £156 -6%
Singapore £142 £136 4%
Switzerland £141 £142 0%
United Arab Emirates £138 £132 5%
Mexico £123 £102 20%
Australia £120 £115 5%
USA £118 £113 4%
South Africa £104 £115 -9%
France £104 £104 0%
Taiwan £100 £96 4%
Ukraine £99 £120 -18%
South Korea £97 £108 -10%
Japan £92 £97 -5%
Egypt £92 £73 25%
Germany £90 £87 3%
Spain £87 £86 2%
UNITED KINGDOM £86 £84 3%
India £81 £86 -6%
China £77 £75 2%
New Zealand £76 £75 1%
Vietnam £61 £61 1%
Lithuania £60 £53 13%

4. Focus on the UK

This chapter covers the prices paid in the UK by all travellers. 

Visit Britain figures for the first six months of the year showed that there was a rise of 3% in hotel occupancy, with business travel particularly strong and the busy holiday period still to come. In this post-Olympic year, hotel guests in the first six months of 2013 paid an average 2% more for their hotel rooms across the country to a national rate of £103 a night, with prices rising in 33 of the 45 destinations covered by the report.

St Andrews retained its position at the top of the price chart on £153, following a 12% increase, with London in second place, up 2% to £131 and Windsor in third, up by the same percentage to £121. The capital is one of the world’s leading cities and had seen above average levels of new hotel rooms in the build-up to the 2012 Olympic Games but worries about over-supply proved premature.

Scotland had other big movers with Aberdeen adding the largest percentage in the report, up 17% to £104 on the continuing strength of the energy sector, and Dundee up 12% to £78. The nation’s two largest cities saw smaller increases with Glasgow up 2% to £74 and Edinburgh up 1% to £103 in the run-up to the Open Championship at Muirfield in mid-July, although overall visitor attendance was down on previous meetings. On the other hand, Perth saw its average price paid fall by 2% to £65 and Inverness was down 1% to £85.

Other winners in England included Leicester up 14% to £63 and Canterbury up 9% to £84. The corporate travel market helped Sheffield add 7% to £66 and 4% in both Reading to £80 and Coventry to £51. Oxford recorded a 5% increase to £115 but Cambridge fell 3% to £98.

Some of the country’s best-loved holiday destinations had mixed results. The Cotswolds, Bournemouth and Scarborough all saw 3% boosts to £95, £72 and £58 respectively, with Brighton up 1% to £87 and the Isle of Wight flat at £67. The Lake District, however, dropped 3% to £88 and Blackpool was down 2% to £58 as the continuous bad weather at the start of the year dampened visits, particularly for outdoor leisure destinations.

Prices paid by visitors to Southampton declined to £69 after a 5% fall, the highest drop in the report, following the city’s bumper year in 2012 with the high number of visitors to the P&O Cruises 175th anniversary Grand Event in July. Nearby Portsmouth painted a different picture with its rates up 5% to £81.

Comparing the two largest Channel Islands, Guernsey had the higher rate at £109 and the larger increase of 4% as against £104 for Jersey, up by 1%.

After a very successful 2012 which saw the opening of the iconic Belfast Titanic museum, prices in Belfast slipped 1% to £72. Elsewhere in Northern Ireland, Derry/Londonderry celebrated its place as the first UK City of Culture in 2013 with a rise of 2% to £70.

In Wales, Cardiff added 1% to £74 but Swansea lost 2% to £71.

Of all the UK destinations in the report, Bradford had the lowest rates at £50, a 1% increase on the same period in 2012.

Table 19 – Average price per room per night in H1 2013 compared with H1 2012 across the UK

Destination H1 2013 H1 2012 % change
St Andrews £153 £137 12%
London £131 £128 2%
Windsor £121 £119 2%
Oxford £115 £109 5%
Bath £115 £113 2%
Guernsey £109 £105 4%
Aberdeen £104 £89 17%
Jersey £104 £103 1%
Edinburgh £103 £103 1%
Cambridge £98 £101 -3%
Cotswolds £95 £92 3%
Stratford Upon Avon £90 £91 0%
York £89 £88 0%
Lake District £88 £90 -3%
Brighton £87 £86 1%
Inverness £85 £86 -1%
Canterbury £84 £77 9%
Cheltenham £84 £83 2%
Portsmouth £81 £77 5%
Reading £80 £77 4%
Manchester £80 £77 4%
Liverpool £78 £75 4%
Dundee £78 £70 12%
Bristol £76 £73 4%
Newcastle-upon-Tyne £76 £75 2%
Glasgow £74 £72 2%
Cardiff £74 £73 1%
Durham £73 £72 2%
Bournemouth £72 £70 3%
Belfast £72 £72 -1%
Swansea £71 £72 -2%
Leeds £70 £66 5%
Derry/Londonderry £70 £68 2%
Southampton £69 £73 -5%
Birmingham £67 £66 2%
Isle of Wight £67 £67 0%
Sheffield £66 £61 7%
Perth £65 £66 -2%
Northampton £64 £64 0%
Leicester £63 £55 14%
Nottingham £61 £60 3%
Blackpool £58 £60 -2%
Scarborough £58 £56 3%
Coventry £51 £49 4%
Bradford £50 £50 1%

Figure 11 – Average UK price per room per night in H1 2013 compared with H1 2012

Destination H1 2013 H1 2012 % change
St Andrews £153 £137 12%
Dundee £78 £70 12%
Oxford £115 £109 5%
Leeds £70 £66 5%
Liverpool £78 £75 4%
Bristol £76 £73 4%
London £131 £128 2%
Glasgow £74 £72 2%
Edinburgh £103 £103 1%
Brighton £87 £86 1%
Cardiff £74 £73 1%
Belfast £72 £72 -1%
Lake District £88 £90 -3%
Southampton £69 £73 -5%

Top Spenders

This section looks at the average price paid for a hotel room in the UK by visiting nationality. 

This shows that, of the 39 nations included in the report, 31 paid more in the first six months of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012 in the country as a whole with one flat and seven down, reflecting the overall rise in UK rates as shown in the first part of this chapter.

With a spread of £92 a night between the top and bottom of the table, it was visitors from the Middle East who spent the most money to stay in the UK, up 8% to £180, considerably higher than the rest of the field. 

The rest of the Top 10 was occupied by other longhaul travellers. The Brazilians and Mexicans tied in second place on £141, after a drop of 1% for the former and an increase of 2% for the latter. Another Latin American country was in fourth place with Argentina on £136 after an 8% gain. Visitors from the USA spent just £1 less on average on £135 following a 2% increase and the Chinese, one of the fastest-growing visitor groups, were next at No 6 on £134, up 4%.

The highest paying Europeans were the Norwegians at No 11 on £127, after a 6% increase. The Japanese were the fastest fallers, spending 9% less in the period covered by the report to £126 at No 12.

The last 13 places were filled by other European countries. The Lithuanians had the highest increase, up 20% to £88, although this still placed them at the bottom of the table, paying less than half of the high-spending travellers from the Middle East.

Table 20 – The average price paid for a hotel room in the UK in H1 2013 compared with H1 2012 by visiting country

Rank Country/Region H1 2013 H1 2012 % change
1 Middle East £180 £167 8%
2= Brazil £141 £142 -1%
2= Mexico £141 £138 2%
4 Argentina £136 £125 8%
5 USA £135 £132 2%
6 China £134 £128 4%
7 Israel £133 £125 7%
8 Thailand £130 £118 10%
9 Singapore £129 £125 3%
10 South Africa £128 £127 1%
11 Norway £127 £119 6%
12 Japan £126 £138 -9%
13= Switzerland £125 £117 7%
13= Russia £125 £131 -5%
15= Turkey £124 £134 -7%
15= India £124 £124 0%
17 Hong Kong £123 £115 7%
18 Sweden £121 £112 8%
19 Australia £119 £117 2%
20 Canada £118 £116 2%
21 South Korea £116 £113 2%
22 Denmark £111 £107 4%
23 Finland £110 £102 7%
24 New Zealand £109 £102 7%
25 Belgium £108 £99 9%
26= Taiwan £104 £107 -3%
26= Austria £104 £107 -3%
28 Estonia £102 £92 11%
29 France £100 £97 3%
30= Italy £99 £96 4%
30= Portugal £99 £103 -4%
32 Spain £98 £96 2%
33= Germany £97 £95 3%
33= Netherlands £97 £94 3%
35 Greece £95 £88 9%
36 Ireland £93 £91 3%
37= Poland £91 £83 10%
37= Czech £91 £87 5%
39 Lithuania £88 £73 20%

5. Prices paid at home and away

Travelling abroad

When travelling abroad between January and June 2013, UK travellers maintained their position in the Top 10 in the table of biggest spenders at No 9 with an average figure of £108 a night.

It was travellers from Switzerland who paid the most when travelling outside their own borders, with an average of £116 per room night. Last year’s leaders, the Japanese were in joint second place with travellers from Norway and the USA, paying £113 on average per room night. 

Two other APAC nations featured in the Top 10, with the Australians at No 5 on £112 and the Chinese at No 8 on £109. Latin America was represented by Brazil at No 6 and Argentina at No 7, paying on average £111 and £110 respectively. Sweden took the final slot at No 10 on £107.

The German and Dutch were the savviest nationalities overall with an average spend of £88 at the bottom of the table, preceded by the Spanish on £89.

Travelling at home

Paying £22 less when staying at home than abroad, the average rate for British hotel guests in the UK was £86, putting them at No 13.

It was Swiss travellers once again who paid the most at home, averaging £135 for a night domestically, followed by Norway in second place on £123 and Singapore in third on £119.

The Australians were in fourth place at £111 and there was one more Asian nation in the Top 10 table, with travellers from Hong Kong at No 7 on £92 on average. The Brazilians were at No 7, making them the most generous domestic travellers in Latin America. 

There were two more from Scandinavia in the Top 10 with Sweden and Denmark on No 5 and No 6 at average room rates of £109 and £100 respectively. The Canadians and Russians completed the Top 10 on £91.

At the other end of the table, those looking for best value at home were again the Indians on £58 a night, preceded by the Portuguese on £60 and the Spanish on £61.

More at home or away?

Of the 29 countries analysed, 25 paid more abroad than at home with some having a significant gap between the two sums. The Argentineans spent £43 a night more on average when travelling abroad, followed closely by the Japanese on £42, the Indians on £39 and the Chinese on £38. 

Only four nations paid more at home than away with travellers from Singapore once again with the greatest difference, spending £24 more domestically than abroad. The Swiss followed with a £19 variation, the Norwegians with £10 and the Swedish with only £2 difference, while Danish and Finnish travellers paid the same average room rate when on trips at home and away. 

Figure 12 – Average room prices paid by travellers when travelling overseas versus those paid within their own countries

Rank Country Away Home
1 Switzerland 116 135
2 Norway 113 123
2 USA 113 85
2 Japan 113 71
5 Australia 112 111
6 Brazil 111 92
7 Argentina 110 67
7 China 109 71
9 United Kingdom 108 86
9 Sweden 107 109
11 New Zealand 106 74
12 Denmark 100 100
12 Colombia 100 85
14 Austria 98 75
15 Mexico 97 80
15 Russia 97 91
15 Canada 97 91
15 Ireland 97 70
15 India 97 58
20 Portugal 96 60
21 Hong Kong 95 92
21 Singapore 95 119
23 South Korea 94 88
24 Italy 90 72
24 Finland 90 90
26 France 89 69
26 Spain 89 61
28 Germany 88 74
28 Netherlands 88 80

6. Where to stay for £100 a night

Anyone looking for a great value luxury city break from the UK could have considered the Polish capital Warsaw where 5-star accommodation was still available for £100 a night or less on average during the first half of 2013.

There was a much wider selection of 4-star rooms for an average £100 or less in 21 destinations around the world. There were 11 in Europe including Berlin, Dublin, Madrid, Prague, Tallinn and Vienna, six in Asia such as Bangkok, Beijing and Shanghai, as well as Cairo, Cape Town, Marrakech and Las Vegas, the only US city in this group. 

The best stocked category was the 3-star range where this sum could buy lodging in another 24 cities and holiday favourites in Australia, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, North and Latin America, including the popular UK destinations of Edinburgh and London.

The 2-star classification featured many of the world’s major cities, such as Chicago, Paris, Singapore and Washington DC, for this average price but it would only cover 1-star lodging in Geneva and New York.

Table 21 – The star rating that can be purchased with £100 a night on average in the world’s top cities

Destination £100
Warsaw 5
Bangkok 4
Beijing 4
Berlin 4
Brussels 4
Budapest 4
Cairo 4
Cape Town 4
Dublin 4
Guangzhou 4
Istanbul 4
Jakarta 4
Las Vegas 4
Lisbon 4
Madrid 4
Marrakech 4
Mumbai 4
Pisa 4
Prague 4
Shanghai 4
Tallinn 4
Vienna 4
Amsterdam 3
Bali 3
Barcelona 3
Cancun 3
Delhi 3
Dubai 3
EDINBURGH 3
Frankfurt 3
Hong Kong 3
Jerusalem 3
LONDON 3
Melbourne 3
Mexico City 3
Milan 3
Moscow 3
Munich 3
Nice 3
Orlando 3
Rome 3
Seoul 3
Sydney 3
Tokyo 3
Toronto 3
Venice 3
Chicago 2
Los Angeles 2
Miami 2
Montreal 2
Paris 2
San Francisco 2
Seattle 2
Singapore 2
Vancouver 2
Washington DC 2
Zurich 2
Geneva 1
New York 1

7. Average room prices by star rating

For the HPI, Hotels.com analysed the average prices paid in Pound Sterling for hotel rooms across different star ratings in the world’s top cities to help consumers make the most of their travel budget. For instance, 5-star average rates start at an economical £74 a night but also soar to an extravagant £375 so it’s useful to check before buying as a small amount of research can generate substantial savings.

At the top of the 5-star range at £375 was Geneva, followed by New York on £335 with Paris in third place on £299. The two UK cities in the table were much better value with considerably lower rates as London averaged £233 a night and Edinburgh £165.

As in the past, Warsaw offered the best deal on 5-star accommodation with average prices of £74 a night, followed by Pisa on £105 and Tallinn on £110. The Polish capital also had the lowest 4-star average on £64, with Budapest on £66 and Marrakech on £72 alongside Bangkok with the same amount. It was harder for the UK to compete in this area with London at £135 and Edinburgh at £104. However, it was still less expensive on average to stay in a 4-star hotel in the Scottish capital than a 3-star property in several popular destinations such as Miami on £124, Boston on £132 and San Francisco on £137 or even a 2-star in New York on £116 and Geneva on £117.

For the more budget-minded, at the other end of the scale, Shanghai offered the lowest 2-star prices with a very affordable £22 with three destinations just £1 more – Bali, Delhi and Bangkok. At these rates, it would have been possible to spend 17 nights in a 2-star hotel in the Chinese city for the same price as a 5-star night in Geneva.

For an inexpensive trip in Europe, Tallinn had an unbeatable £29 2-star average.

Table 22 – Average hotel room prices by star rating during H1 2013

Destination ** *** **** *****
Amsterdam £74 £88 £116 £164
Bali £23 £50 £101 £186
Bangkok £23 £35 £72 £137
Barcelona £65 £90 £106 £201
Beijing £35 £50 £79 £141
Berlin £63 £58 £76 £120
Boston £102 £132 £179 n/a
Brussels £66 £85 £98 £122
Budapest n/a £45 £66 £111
Cairo n/a £19 £99 £128
Cancun £42 £85 £205 £274
Cape Town n/a £62 £94 £158
Chicago £66 £115 £142 n/a
Delhi £23 £39 £103 £125
Dubai £84 £67 £111 £216
Dublin £48 £66 £87 £159
EDINBURGH £72 £82 £104 £165
Frankfurt £70 £82 £107 £178
Geneva £117 £133 £164 £375
Guangzhou n/a £49 £92 £159
Hong Kong £42 £87 £131 £228
Istanbul £47 £77 £91 £140
Jakarta £32 £41 £84 £132
Jerusalem n/a £92 £121 £186
Las Vegas £41 £47 £85 £145
Lisbon £36 £56 £74 £116
LONDON £74 £90 £135 £233
Los Angeles £80 £118 £200 £286
Madrid £47 £66 £79 £139
Marrakech n/a £45 £72 £126
Melbourne n/a £73 £110 £169
Mexico City £60 £77 £137 n/a
Miami £84 £124 £202 £264
Milan n/a £66 £110 £190
Montreal £76 £113 £148 n/a
Moscow n/a £98 £152 £223
Mumbai £41 £72 £90 £128
Munich £79 £97 £115 £186
New York £116 £161 £206 £335
Nice £69 £87 £133 £269
Orlando £45 £78 £120 n/a
Paris £76 £104 £150 £299
Pisa n/a £56 £80 £105
Prague n/a £55 £74 £126
Rome £75 £82 £108 £223
San Francisco £92 £137 £176 n/a
Seattle £95 £120 £166 n/a
Seoul £40 £69 £110 £219
Shanghai £22 £49 £79 £146
Singapore £58 £104 £150 £257
Sydney n/a £94 £135 £205
Tallinn £29 £56 £73 £110
Tokyo £50 £82 £150 £291
Toronto £72 £92 £149 £280
Vancouver £74 £105 £146 £183
Venice £87 £99 £131 £246
Vienna n/a £61 £83 £137
Warsaw £34 £52 £64 £74
Washington DC £85 £128 £158 £176
Zurich £80 £122 £146 £184

Table 23 – Top 10 most expensive cities for 5-star hotels in H1 2013

Destination Price
Geneva £375
New York £335
Paris £299
Tokyo £291
Los Angeles £286
Toronto £280
Cancun £274
Nice £269
Miami £264
Singapore £257

Table 24 Affordable luxury: Top 10 destinations with the best-value 5-star hotels in H1 2013

Destination Price
Warsaw £74
Pisa £105
Tallinn £110
Budapest £111
Lisbon £116
Berlin £120
Brussels £122
Delhi £125
Marrakech £126
Prague £126

Hotel star ratings explained – There is no universal star rating system. Each country has its own and, in some cases such as the UK, more than one. This means that travellers should be aware of a possible disparity of standards and facilities when booking rooms with the same star ratings in different countries.

8. Luxury for less

UK travellers searching for top-of-the-range hotel accommodation for less were able to benefit from some significant price falls in 5-star and 4-star prices around the world during H1 2013.

With the economic woes in Europe, luxury breaks became considerably cheaper and several European cities appeared in the list with double-digit slides. The highest 5-star decreases were in Milan with a 22% drop to an average £190 and Warsaw falling 17% to £74 with Pisa and Tallinn both sliding 10% to £105 and £110 respectively. Elsewhere, Cape Town and Delhi were both down by 14% to a respective £158 and £125, while Bali dropped to an average £186 after a 13% fall.

Sao Paulo led the way in the 4-star range, falling 30% to £137, followed by Santiago, down 25% to £102. Closer to home, there were fallers also in Europe with the Warsaw average down again, this time by 24% to £64, Venice down 12% to £131 and Pisa again, with a 7% drop to £80.

Table 25 – Where prices at top-end hotels fell the most between H1 2013 and H1 2012

Destination Star Rating H1 2013 H1 2012 % change
Sao Paulo 4 £137 £195 -30%
Santiago 4 £102 £136 -25%
Warsaw 4 £64 £85 -24%
Milan 5 £190 £244 -22%
Warsaw 5 £74 £89 -17%
Cape Town 5 £158 £183 -14%
Delhi 5 £125 £145 -14%
Bali 5 £186 £215 -13%
Venice 4 £131 £148 -12%
Jerusalem 5 £186 £210 -12%
Mumbai 5 £128 £142 -10%
Pisa 5 £105 £117 -10%
Tallinn 5 £110 £122 -10%
Mumbai 4 £90 £99 -9%
Beijing 5 £141 £153 -8%
Bali 4 £101 £110 -8%
Pisa 4 £80 £86 -7%
Guangzhou 4 £92 £99 -7%
Tokyo 5 £291 £309 -6%
Hong Kong 5 £228 £241 -5%
Moscow 4 £152 £160 -5%
Shanghai 5 £146 £153 -5%

9. Travel habits

Top overseas destinations for UK travellers

In the first half of 2013, the chart of most popular overseas destinations for UK travellers was an eclectic mix of short and longhaul favourites with winners and losers close to home and farther afield. 

Paris maintained its No 1 position over New York and Europe was by far the most popular region, holding 12 of the Top 20 slots. Brussels was the fastest riser, climbing four places to No 15, followed by Istanbul rising three to No 12 with Dublin up two to No 3. The Gathering, taking place in Ireland this year, may well have contributed to this rise as the country stages a year-long event to encourage friends and family to visit. Prague lost its shine, moving four places in the other direction to No 20, while Madrid fell three to No 13 and Venice two to No 14.

As well as New York, there were four other US destinations on the leaderboard. Los Angeles was up two to No 11 and San Francisco rose one to No 10 while Orlando slid two places to No 16 and Las Vegas lost one to No 5. 

Two other positions were held by Asian cities, with Bangkok and Hong Kong swapping places at Nos 17 and 18. Dubai climbed one to No 8.

Table 26 – Top overseas destinations for UK travellers in H1 2013

Rank Destination H1 2013 price H1 2012 rank
1 Paris £128 1
2 New York £178 2
3 Dublin £79 5
4 Amsterdam £110 3
5 Las Vegas £83 4
6 Barcelona £104 7
7 Rome £108 6
8 Dubai £144 9
9 Berlin £78 8
10 San Francisco £139 11
11 Los Angeles £134 13
12 Istanbul £106 15
13 Madrid £81 10
14 Venice £128 12
15 Brussels £95 19
16 Orlando £72 14
17 Bangkok £63 18
18 Hong Kong £122 17
19 Budapest £69 20
20 Prague £78 16

Top UK destinations for overseas travellers

There was little change in the table of top UK destinations for overseas travellers with the first five holding onto their H1 2012 places. 

The only newcomer was York at No 10 as Bristol dropped away. Belfast slipped two places to
No 8, dropping below Birmingham and Brighton, and Aberdeen dropped one to No 9.

Table 27 – Top UK destinations for overseas travellers in H1 2013

Rank Destination H1 2013 price H1 2012 rank
1 London £131 1
2 Edinburgh £103 2
3 Manchester £80 3
4 Liverpool £78 4
5 Glasgow £74 5
6 Birmingham £67 7
7 Brighton £87 8
8 Belfast £72 6
9 Aberdeen £104 10
10 York £89 *

10. Travel talk

This chapter features some additional travel facts identified by Hotels.com.

Growth of the Chinese international traveller

In August 2013, Hotels.com published its second Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM), examining the impact of the huge growth in Chinese outbound tourism and the response by the global hotel industry to benefit from this rapidly developing trend. The report collected and analysed data from both hoteliers and Chinese travellers and many of the key findings can be seen on the opposite page. 

Since the first report in 2012, the subject has hardly been out of the headlines with many countries now recognising the potential of the Chinese traveller boom. The UN World Tourism Organization reported that Chinese travellers spent US$102 billion on international tourism in 2012, 40% more than in 2011, overtaking Germany and the USA as the world’s biggest spenders. 

China has also officially become the world’s largest outbound tourism market, again outdoing Germany and the US last year with an estimated 83 million overseas trips made by Chinese citizens, according to the China Tourism Academy 2013 report. 

This remarkable growth, largely due to more relaxed government restrictions on foreign travel and the rise of a Chinese middle class with higher disposable income, does not appear to have been impacted by the slowdown in overall economic growth seen in China over recent months. The desire to explore foreign lands and enjoy new experiences remains as strong as ever.

The move away from groups to more independent travel, identified in the CITM last year, is now unstoppable and is preferred by the mainstream. Governments will have to take this into account when organising their visa application infrastructure and processes. Hoteliers report a growing confidence in this segment as more travellers say they are prepared to step outside their comfort zone and try more authentic local experiences. Although shopping remains one of the favourite activities, it is by no means the key driver for many who instead rate sightseeing and dining as their main interests. The desire for hotels to provide more material in Mandarin, including Mandarin-speaking staff, is highlighted by the vast majority of travellers.  

In the main, hoteliers are responding well to these new challenges. The Hotels.com CITM provides information on how best to capitalise on this potentially highly-rewarding development, particularly as travel from more traditional source markets from parts of Europe has been declining. 

For a full copy of the CITM in English or Chinese, visit http://press.hotels.com/citm/

 

Club sandwich index

Geneva has taken over from Paris as the most expensive city in the world in which to order a Club Sandwich, at an average £19.96, according to research by Hotels.com. Using the classic hotel staple of a chicken, bacon, egg, lettuce and mayonnaise sandwich as a barometer of affordability, the Hotels.com Club Sandwich Index offers holidaymakers an indication of the cost of living associated with their destination of choice. London was at No 8 in the list on £13.53.

 

Russia no 1 for paid and public holidays

Research from Hotels.com reveals discrepancies in paid and public holiday entitlements across Europe. When looking at both statutory annual leave and public holiday allowances, Russia and Italy top the table, benefitting from 40 and 36 days respectively. The UK had only 28 days in total.