Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Unprecedented drop in US hotel prices-29 September, 2009

The average price of a hotel room in the US fell 17 percent in the first six months of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008. Room rates in the US now cost, on average, $115 a night, down from $139 the year before.

So says the recently released Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI).

"This is by far the most significant change in prices we've seen since we created the Hotel Price Index. Americans' travel dollars have never gone farther than in 2009," said David Roche, President of hotels.com. He added:

"As properties continue to roll out discounts and other incentives to attract guests, the gap between the top star categories has narrowed, giving travelers more value and making luxury more accessible than any other time in the past five years."

The United States followed a larger global trend with room rates around the world down 17 percent in the first half of the year, according to the HPI.

The fall in room rates was driven by price drops across every continent with hotel rooms in Europe down 16 percent, rates in North America and Asia both declining 17 percent, and hotel prices in Latin America falling 18 percent.

Hotels.com's HPI revealed that Las Vegas overtook New York City as the favorite domestic destination for US travelers in the first half of 2009, with room rates in Las Vegas hotels just $82 a night on average.

Destinations rounding out the top five U.S. favorites included New York City, Orlando, Chicago hotels and San Francisco.

By David Wilkening

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