Higher Global Hotel Prices for the Fifth Year in a Row

Marieke Flament, Hotels.com

Hotel prices paid by travellers worldwide rose by 3% during 2014, as the global economy improved, according to the latest Hotels.com™ Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®) More than 1.1 billion travellers ventured abroad in 2014, up nearly 5% over the previous year, according to figures released in January by UNWTO (United National World Tourism Organisation) , with the size of the global domestic travel market estimated to be 4-5 times this total.

Tracking this trend, the average price paid for a hotel room around the world, as measured by the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI), rose by 3% during 2014 when compared with 2013. The overall global economic recovery gathered momentum and consumers became more confident in raising their travel spending. This is the fifth year running that the Index has increased, driving some regional results to their highest ever levels. However, overall it is still way behind its peak of seven years ago which is great news for travellers.

From this very positive position globally, results were mixed at a regional level. Three exceeded the global HPI average: North America was up 5% while the Caribbean and Europe & the Middle East both rose 4%. The other three were behind the curve with Latin America up 2%, the Pacific showing no change and Asia down 2%.

Each year is unique in the travel industry and 2014 was no exception, bringing its own opportunities and challenges. Global events, such as the Winter Olympic Games and World Cup, predictably attracted travellers to new destinations. Yet unforeseen tragedies, including the Ebola outbreak, the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 and the loss of MH17 also left their own mark.

UNWTO’s forecast for 2015 remains positive, predicting an increase of between 3% and 4% for international tourist arrivals, with highest growth in Asia and the Pacific. Many industry insiders predict that oil prices will be subdued for the next 2-3 years . Lower oil prices will bring down the cost of travel and stimulate economic growth by raising purchasing power in many places. The US economy is strong and, for the first time since 2007, all of the Eurozone’s economies are forecast to grow .

There are also, as usual, uncertainties ahead, particularly in the geo-political arena, but international tourism is a fiercely competitive and resilient industry with countries vying to attract valuable visiting travellers by improving infrastructure, expanding hospitality and entertainment options and relaxing visa requirements.

The HPI goes into these and other factors in much more detail at a regional and country level to help travellers plan their journey. Visit www.hotel-price-index.com for more detailed information.

http://media.unwto.org/press-release/2015-01-27/over-11-billion-tourists-travelled-abroad-2014 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30913321 http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/business/european-union-raises-eurozone-growth-outlook-confirms-deflation/articleshow/46132728.cms?prtpage=1

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