Some encouraging news for the travel industry and some tips on pricing if you plan to travel soon.

I’ve felt an increase in travel through my pet services business and this report, out from hotels.com, corroborates a travel trend moving up.  Hotel rates have risen by 2%, but there are good deals to be had.  Favorite travel spots include western Europe and in the US, of course, NY, Las Vegas, Orlando,  and New Orleans experiencing increased tourism, with Honolulu taking the stage as the 7th most visited city.  Internationally, London is the number 1 hotspot (jolly good!) , followed by Paris (évidemment) and, of course, Rome (aahhhh…Roma…I miss you.)

I’ve included the video if you want a brief overview.  Below that is the release from hotels.com and if you want to read the full report, there is a link at the bottom of the article. 

DALLAS — March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Today, hotels.com®, the leading provider of lodging worldwide, released its Hotel Price Index (HPI™), noting a theme of recovery in the travel industry as global hotel rates rose 2% in 2010. Despite the increase year-over-year, travel deals and value can still be found in America’s most popular cities as well as the new global up-and-coming destinations.

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Among the good news, hotels.com’s HPI found higher occupancy levels for major business centers like London, Paris, Singapore, and New York due to the return of business travel. Las Vegas also benefitted, as convention business returned to the desert. International arrivals grew over 5% in 2010 and occupancy in luxury properties in the U.S. is running between ten and fifteen points higher than in the lower star categories.

“We are encouraged by this continued growth in business and consumer travel throughout the industry,” said Victor Owens, vice president of marketing North America for hotels.com. “Despite the rise of hotel rates globally, hotels.com is still able to offer its customers great deals, due in part to the increase of new hotels around the world. For example, attractive deals can be found in London as it prepares for the tremendous number of visitors arriving for the 2012 Olympics.”

Key Findings and Report Highlights:

  • Las Vegas still holds the crown as Americans’ #1 favorite domestic city to visit in 2010 followed by New York, Orlando, Chicago, and San Francisco while the city of Pittsburgh is slowly moving up to be one of the top 50 cities Americans love to visit.
  • Americans continue to flock to London, Paris, and Rome but Asian cities including Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, and Manila are quickly becoming new favorites in 2010.
  • Overseas travelers are still enchanted with New York, Las Vegas, and Orlando, making them the top three most-visited cities, but others have been charmed by the laid-back luxury of Honolulu. This city moves up to become the 7th most-visited city in 2010 – three spots up from 2009.
  • Who has the deepest pockets? Americans did not skimp on accommodations when visiting overseas but were a bit more frugal when finding rooms close to home. The average price paid per room overseas was $160, $46 more than what they would have paid for a hotel in the U.S.!
  • Best Four-Star Deals at a Steal: Authentic experiences meet affordable luxury. Travelers lounged in splendor for $100 a night when staying in Tallinn, Bangkok, and Budapest.
  • Demand for Luxury: Top U.S. cities that saw significant year-over-year increases at five-star properties in 2010 were: Boston (21%), Chicago (20%), Miami (10%), San Francisco (22%), and Washington (16%).
  • Big Easy’s Comeback: New Orleans has been recovering steadily since Hurricane Katrina. Rooms were up 12% in 2010 compared to 2009, indicating a healthy comeback for the hotel industry.
  • The Highs and Lows of hotels.com Hotel Price Index: Bora Bora in French Polynesia averaged at $605 room rates, the most expensive in 2010, while Primm offers the cheapest rooms at $34 a night.

The following cities offer travelers the best deal for the best room, with the lowest five-star room rates:

City Country Star Rating 2009 2010 YoY ADR
Warsaw Poland 5 112.35 114.69 2%
Tallinn Estonia 5 160.43 156.65 (2%)
Marrakech Morocco 5 158.32 159.58 1%
Budapest Hungary 5 176.32 168.34 (5%)
Lisbon Portugal 5 176.36 168.62 (4%)
Prague Czech Republic 5 188.75 187.73 (1%)
Bangkok Thailand 5 188.55 189.71 1%
Berlin Germany 5 199.98 190.29 (5%)

 

Following are charts of America’s top domestic and international destinations.

Rank City State Year
1 Las Vegas NV 2010
2 New York NY 2010
3 Orlando FL 2010
4 Chicago IL 2010
5 San Francisco CA 2010

 

Rank City Country Year
1 London United Kingdom 2010
2 Paris France 2010
3 Rome Italy 2010
4 Toronto Canada 2010
5 Vancouver Canada 2010

 

Go to www.hotel-price-index.com for a look at the entire report, featuring infographics, detailed maps, and city-by-city breakdown.

About the HPI™
The hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI™), which began in 2004, is a regular survey of hotel prices in major city destinations (over 18,300 locations) across the globe. The HPI is based on bookings made on hotels.com and prices shown are those actually paid by customers (rather than advertised rates) in 2010 versus 2009.

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