The HPI in Asia fell by two per cent, which was good news for inbound travellers to the region as it continues to offer some of the worlds best value hotel accommodation. The depreciation of the Yen, Rupee and Rupiah, coupled with a decrease in inbound visitors to China contributed to this result, although outbound travel from China remains buoyant. There also continues to be a longer term trend of more travel within the region.
Johan Svanstrom, president, Hotels.com brand, said, "According to UNWTO (the United Nations World Tourism Organisation), international tourist arrivals in 2013 grew by five per cent to a record global figure of 1,087 million, well above expectations. The growth in global hotel prices we are reporting today reflects that trend. There is no doubt that European hotel prices were some of the most badly affected by the economic fallout. However, most indicators now show that the economic squeeze is easing, if not yet completely over.
Latin America registered its strongest result yet, with a five per cent increase in hotel prices, and has now overtaken its previous peak set just before the global economic downturn. With reports stating that emerging markets are showing solid economic growth, prices rose as demand intensified. Higher occupancy levels recorded in many areas helped the North American HPI climb three per cent, matching the global rise.
"Looking ahead, one phenomenon impacting global hotel prices in 2014 is the huge rise in the number of sports fans travelling this year, with the Sochi Olympics and Para Olympics in February and March and the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in the summer," he added.
Hotel rates in Europe and the Middle East grew by two per cent. With many financial indicators showing that the European economic recovery is gathering greater momentum, several of the destinations worst hit by the downturn have seen their prices stabilise, with some experiencing healthy increases.
The Pacific region was level. Softer domestic corporate travel in Western Australia, coupled with the drop in value of the Australian Dollar towards the end of the year, had a dampening effect on the overall average.