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Hotels.com Hotel Price Index™ 2016
  • Travel in the U.S.A.

U.S. Domestic and Inbound Travel: Change was
the name of the game

The highly charged U.S. Presidential Election left Americans on the edge of their seats and glued to their televisions and smart phones. The complete uncertainty of “Decision 2016” and its effects on future travel options to and from the U.S. likely encouraged and discouraged inbound travel depending on which side of the coin you predicted. Meanwhile, the U.S. captivated the attention of international comrades as they, too were held in suspense through the long list of White House contenders, to the presidential debates, all the way to the decision at the polls.  

This political melee contributed to an entirely mixed bag of results being recorded in the most popular U.S. travel destinations for 2016, where record highs and lows in visitor numbers were experienced and average room prices also rose and fell across the country. For example, New York City enjoyed its seventh year of rising visitor figures to reach more than 60 million, while Houston, Miami and New Orleans all experienced significant price drops likely due to a variety of factors such as Zika concerns and weakening hotel occupancy.

  • Most popular domestic destination: Las Vegas
  • Largest average price increase: Reno at +8%
  • Largest average price drop: Houston at -7%
  • Most popular destination for international visitors: New York City
  • Largest average price increase: Atlanta at +10%
  • Largest average price drop: Boston and Houston at -8%
Washington DC

What U.S. travelers paid in their top 50 domestic destinations

  • Amongst the most popular domestic destinations for U.S. travelers, prices paid rose in more than half, fell in 14 and were flat in six. In the country as a whole, domestic hotel guests paid 1% more per night than in 2015 on average.
  • The West Coast experienced similarly mixed fortunes: Los Angeles set a new record for visitor numbers so domestic visitors paid 6% more on average in 2016, whereas San Diego experienced no change and San Francisco’s average room rates fell by 3%.
  • Perhaps unsurprisingly given the high drama of the elections, Washington D.C. had one of the highest average price increases at 7%, as both domestic and international visitors were drawn to the nation’s capital and political power center.
  • Two other destinations, Orlando and Albuquerque, saw no change and still provided great value with averages of under $115 per night.
  • Las Vegas was the most popular domestic destination in 2016 and average prices were boosted by another year of record visitor numbers.

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Download the full list of 50 cities analyzed.

Average nightly hotel prices paid by U.S. travelers in their 20 most popular domestic destinations in 2016
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Average prices paid per night by U.S. travelers in selected U.S. destinations in 2016 compared with 2015
City State 2016 ($) 2015 ($) % Change 2016 popularity rank
USA 132 131 1%
Boston MA 266 277 -4% 20
New York NY 258 263 -2% 2
San Francisco CA 231 238 -3% 4
Washington DC 227 212 7% 15
Los Angeles CA 198 188 5% 13
New Orleans LA 192 202 -5% 14
Miami FL 190 203 -6% 9
San Diego CA 157 157 0% 5
Tampa FL 129 120 7% 23
Las Vegas NV 127 124 3% 1
Orlando FL 114 113 0% 3
Houston TX 121 130 -7% 8
Reno NV 100 93 8% 31
Albuquerque NM 92 92 0% 30
San Diego

What international visitors paid in the top 50 U.S. destinations

  • The strength of the Dollar began to impact inbound visitor numbers to the U.S. in 2016, as total arrivals were down by 2% in the first nine months of 2016, falling from the record highs of 2015, with the highest decreases coming from Canada and Europe.
  • Inbound visitors paid more in more than half of their 50 favorite U.S. destinations, while prices fell in 14 and the remaining six maintained their price averages. In the country as a whole, overseas hotel guests paid 1% more per night in 2016 than in the previous year.
  • Many international arrivals to the U.S. are holidaymakers with a different set of priorities to the American domestic market and, in 2016, New York City was their most popular destination, followed by Las Vegas and Orlando.
  • There was also a wider split between the highest and lowest averages paid as two destinations (Santa Monica and Lahaina) were over $300 per night and two destinations (Tucson and Buena Park) were under $100.
  • Boston, Houston and Key West recorded the highest percentage decreases whereas Atlanta, Tampa and Buena Park recorded the highest increases.

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Download the full list of 50 cities analyzed.

Average nightly hotel prices paid in the 20 most popular destinations for visitors to the U.S. in 2016
Download
Average prices paid per night by international visitors in selected U.S. destinations in 2016 compared with 2015
City State 2016 ($) 2015 ($) % Change 2016 popularity rank
Santa Monica CA 331 327 1% 24
Lahaina HI 308 301 2% 45
Key West FL 275 $293 -6% 22
Boston MA 258 279 -8% 11
New York NY 252 259 -3% 1
Miami FL 186 196 -5% 4
Atlanta GA 165 151 9% 21
Houston TX 140 152 -8% 16
Las Vegas NV 138 132 5% 2
Tampa FL 133 122 9% 39
Orlando FL 112 110 2% 3
Tucson AZ 99 98 0% 47
Buena Park CA 88 82 8% 42
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