The average price of a hotel room in North America rose 3 percent during 2013, according to the latest Hotels.com® Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®). Aided by higher occupancy levels in the U.S., the North American hotel industry also played a pivotal role in the 3 percent overall increase in room rates globally.
"The three percent uptick in rates paid in 2013 – while slightly lower than the levels North America saw in the past two years – speaks to the steady growth of our region's hotel industry," said Neha Parikh, vice president and general manager, Hotels.com North America. "As consumers increase their reliance on mobile devices for travel purposes, mobile booking apps are making last-minute travel more accessible than ever before and are driving consistent hotel demand in North America."
Southern Cities on the Rise
Led by Las Vegas, New York and Orlando, the 10 Most Popular Domestic Cities for Americans remained unchanged. However, several regions of the country increased in popularity in 2013, including top destinations in North Carolina and Florida.
Charlotte, North Carolina's largest city, climbed up the ranks of the 50 Most Popular Domestic Cities for Americans each year since 2011, becoming the 29th most visited destination in 2013. Raleigh is also fast becoming a more popular destination with a $60 million airport renovation project and numerous cultural and sporting infrastructural developments in the pipeline. Raleigh surpassed four destinations to become the 34th most visited U.S. city domestically in 2013, while maintaining an affordable rate of $99 according to the HPI.
Orlando, Miami and Fort Lauderdale are perennially among the most visited destinations for Americans, but several other Florida cities rose in popularity in 2013, including Tampa (#25) and Jacksonville (#37). Lake Buena Vista, home of Walt Disney World, saw increases in both popularity – up five spots to #43 – and rates – up 8 percent to $177.
Americans' International Travel Trends
A number of Latin American destinations that make up the 50 Most Popular International Cities for Americans saw moderate to significant price drops in 2013. Panama City (#35; $121), Bogota (#38; $124) and Buenos Aires (#39; $118) all saw price decreases of at least 6 percent and came in significantly below what Americans paid abroad in 2013 ($174). Rio de Janeiro ($267) remained one of the highest priced Top 50 International Cities, but rates actually decreased by 4 percent as the value of the Brazilian Real drove down prices ahead of the 2014 World Cup.
On the other end of the spectrum, Mexico's rebounding tourism industry resulted in an upswing in American tourism as well as increased prices. Tourism increased for the second consecutive year in 2013, as nearly 12 million foreign travelers visited Mexico by air, according to Mexico's Tourism Secretariat. Cancun, a long-time favorite spring break destination, had the largest spike with prices jumping 16 percent to $221. Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Mexico City and Vallarta also saw price increases of 5 percent or more in 2013.
Best Values in Europe for Under $135
For those travelers who have yet to cross Europe off their bucket list, now is the time. As the region progresses on the road to economic recovery following the Eurozone crisis, visitors can likely expect four-star hotel room prices for under $135 per night in several popular cities if 2013 HPI prices trend into 2014. Prague, Czech Republic ($124), Lisbon, Portugal ($127) and Berlin, Germany ($131) were just a few cities where travelers could find the Best Values in the World at highly-rated hotels in 2013.
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