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Hotel Price Trends

HotelsCombined Price Index unearths interesting seasonal trends

Based upon average hotel rates aggregated from dozens of top travel websites throughout June, July and August, the majority of U.S., MENA and South East Asia destinations experienced a significant spike in price when compared with the 2011 season.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – South East Asia, U.S, Eastern European and MENA (Middle East and North African) destinations were booming tourism hubs this past season according to HotelsCombined’s year-over-year price index.

Based upon average hotel rates aggregated from dozens of top travel websites throughout June, July and August, the majority of U.S., MENA and South East Asia destinations experienced a significant spike in price when compared with the 2011 season.

Where South East Asia was concerned, major Thailand tourism centres Phuket and Chiang Mai saw the highest increases in the region, up 37% and 33% respectively. Pattaya followed at 27% along with Koh Samui at 25%. In fact, the only major Thai destination to experience any price decrease was Koh Phangan at a meagre 3%. The country’s hotel spikes are likely attributed to a large increase in hotel development over the past year. Also posting noteworthy gains were Singapore (+32%), Malaysia destinations Pangkor Island (+33%), and Langkawi (+26%), Philippine hot spots Boracay (+25%) and Tagaytay (+20%) and Hong Kong (+20%).

“Overall, the upturn data coming out of Asia was quite impressive,” says Hichame Assi, HotelsCombined’s Head of International Strategy. “We’re seeing enormous growth not only in regards to the number of hotels being developed in South East Asia, but also in the availability of boutique and luxury accommodation. However, it should be noted that many of these countries recently experienced an increase in oil and power rates, which could also explain the subsequent rise in hotel costs.”

Middle East and North African (MENA) destinations rivalled Asia for rate growth with Dubai experiencing one of the highest increases in the world at an impressive 57% from an average nightly fee of AED 601.17 in 2011 to AED 941.10 in 2012.  This was followed by Islamic pilgrimage hot spot Medina with an increase of 44% and Sousse with an increase of 43%. Dubai’s fellow Gulf city of Abu Dhabi experienced a more humble rate increase of 12%.

“Every summer, the MENA tourism sector appears to experience significant growth,” Assi says. “This is especially apparent in the Middle East, where Islamic pilgrimage has summer tourism increasing steadily. The return of consumer confidence in countries like Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia, following the cultural and political upheaval in the region, is also encouraging.”

The U.S. was a success story as well with an average hotel rate surge of 17%. Anaheim – home to Disneyland – snagged the highest price increase in America with a 42% rise in the average nightly hotel rate of USD $109 in 2011 to USD $155.25 in 2012.

Lastly, four Eastern European cities topped the list of the highest rate increases in the world: Gdansk (+58%), Kiev (+56%), Bansko +36% and Warsaw +26%. With the exception of Montenegro, Eastern Europe appears to be blooming and enjoyed the prosperity that several key Western European cities severely lacked. The German cities of Dusseldorf (-19%), Leipzig (-16%) and Binz (-16%) all experienced declines while Athens hotel rates went down a significant 18% during the 2012 summer likely as an after-effect of the tensions the city faced due to the current European financial crisis.

Hotels Combined Hotel Price Trends Jun / Jul / Aug 2011 – 2012

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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