Global hotel prices rise for the first time in three years

Reporter
Yahoo Finance

A new report from Hotels.com found that Americans paid a bit more for hotel accommodations in 2017.

According to the site’s Hotel Price Index, travelers paid 2% more globally for overnight accommodations last year, the biggest jump since 2014. One reason for the price increase is demand. Johan Svanstrom, the president of Hotels.com, stated that several markets had record visitor growth in 2017.

For example, Portugal welcomed a record 12.7 million people in 2017, up 12% from 2016.  Domestically, New York City experienced record-breaking tourism with 62.8 million visitors, 2.3 million more than the previous year. Chicago welcomed 55.2 million, up from 48.3 million, while Los Angeles attracted 48.3 million, slightly more than 2016’s figure of 47.3 million.

In the US, the rise in demand could be attributed to two factors, the first being a strong economy. Markets are stable, and Americans have more money to spend. The second factor is that more Americans actually have the correct paperwork to travel internationally. Back in 2010, only 33% of Americans had passports. Today, that number is up to 42%, the most in our nation’s history. In other words, more Americans are seeking new experiences abroad.

Where to find affordable hotels

Travelers paid more for hotel rooms in 2017
Travelers paid more for hotel rooms in 2017

It sounds like a no-brainer, but the best way to get a cheaper hotel is to visit a destination with lower demand. In the US, that means skipping Las Vegas, which was the most popular domestic destination in 2017. Other popular US cities include New York City, Orlando, San Diego and Chicago.

Those wanting to get a good hotel deal might consider visiting Philadelphia, which saw a 4% price drop for overnight stays in 2017.

Internationally, Mexico is a top destination for Americans seeking sun and relaxation, but that R&R will cost you. The coastal resort town Playa del Carmen, which has an average nightly price of $247, saw an increase of 2% in 2016.

On the flipside, Americans definitely benefited from traveling to Europe last year. London was the most popular international destination for US travelers in 2016, and saw hotel room prices drop by 2%. Another affordable option is Spain, where the average room costs just $163 a night.

The moral of the story is that even though hotel prices have increased overall, you can still find good deals with a little planning and research.

Brittany is reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @bjonescooper

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