World hotel prices slump
Hotel prices around the world fell in the fourth quarter of last year, with the steepest declines seen in the United States and Canada, a survey published Tuesday showed.
In North America, the average price paid for a hotel room was down by 12 percent between October and December last year compared with the same period in 2007, a survey by hotels.com of some 68,000 properties in more than 12,500 locations, showed.
In Europe, hotel prices fell by 10 percent, in the Caribbean and Latin America by seven percent, and in Asia by just two percent.
The slump in the hotel market in the Americas was blamed on US domestic demand being sharply down and a drop in numbers of tourists from Europe, as they "tightened their travel budgets," the survey said.
In Europe, prices fell as hoteliers slashed rates to try to keep occupancy levels up in the final quarter of last year.
Asia saw a less brutal price drop, but it was the first time quarterly prices have gone south in the region since hotels.com started its index in January 2004.
Most cities around the world saw prices fall, and some saw them positively plummet, illustrating the hotel industry's sensitivity to geopolitical and economic events, the poll said.
Prices in Mumbai were down by more than 40 percent, following the terrorist attacks in the Indian city in November.
Reykjavik was a close second, with prices falling 36 percent as the economy of Iceland collapsed.
Cape Town, Las Vegas and Manila saw prices fall by nearly a third, London, New York, Sydney and Venice by nearly a quarter, Moscow by 17 percent, and Paris by 10 percent, reflecting the global economic slump.
But some cities bucked the trend and saw prices rise.
Sao Paolo had the steepest rise, with the price of a room increasing by nearly a quarter -- 23 percent -- to 151 dollars on average, the poll showed.