Caribbean enjoys higher than average rise in hotel prices for 2014
LONDON, England -- The average price paid for a hotel room around the world rose by three percent during 2014 compared with 2013, according to the latest Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI). However, the Caribbean reported four percent index growth.
The overall global economic recovery gathered momentum and consumers became more confident in raising their travel spending. Hotel prices have now experienced five years of steady price rises since they plummeted during the financial collapse of 2008/9.
The global HPI stood at 113 at the end of 2014, 13 points higher than at its launch in 2004 and on a par with its 2008 level but still four points lower than its peak at 117 in 2007.
Johan Svanstrom, president of the Hotels.com brand, said: "Although the index rose again last year, it is still way behind its peak of seven years ago which is great news for consumers. 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 left their own mark."
Of the six regions in the HPI, the index rose in four, was flat in one and fell in another. With a strong economy and rising dollar, North America led the way with a rise of five percent, two percentage points better than its 2013 result.
Two regions reported four percent index growth. The Caribbean achieved a new record, rising to 137, the highest yearly regional index figure ever reached. This was fuelled by a stronger US dollar, as the Caribbean remained a firm favourite for US travellers. Secondly, Europe and the Middle East showed its fastest rate of growth for seven years, as many countries reported record visitor numbers for the year.
Latin America registered a two percent index rise. World Cup hosts Brazil exceeded expectations when it came to its hospitality industry and the event was a unique opportunity for the country to showcase some of the top class accommodation and services it has to offer.
The Pacific showed no growth in its Index in 2014 but the continued weakness in the Australian dollar should mean that the region will attract more visitors in 2015.
For Asia, the index decreased two percent. Over the years, the HPI has shown that Asia has long offered the best value destinations in the world and continues to do so.
Svanstrom continued: "More than 1.1 billion travellers ventured abroad in 2014, up nearly five percent over the previous year, with the size of the global domestic travel market estimated to be four to five times this total. 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. Travel opens up both world and minds – so go explore."