Hotel Prices UK Travellers Paid Around the World
Download the full list of 100 cities analysed
UK: Falling Pound doesn’t deter outbound travel
Due to the fall in value of the Pound to a six-year low against most major currencies, prompted largely by the political and economic fallout following the Brexit vote, HPI data shows that UK travellers paid more for their hotel rooms overseas in 90% of their 100 most popular international destinations in 2016, compared with 2015.
The highest double-digit increases were in Europe and the USA while Asia offered the best value as a region once again, in spite of higher prices and the devalued pound. However, despite their reduced purchasing power, determined British travellers were seemingly not deterred by the thought of having to pay more in order to get away, as outbound travel from the UK in the first nine months of the year increased by more than 5%.
“Admittedly, the British Pound didn’t stretch as far in 2016 compared to 2015, but clearly that hasn’t stopped UK travellers from spreading their wings rather than burrowing in until the currency’s fortunes improve. Fortunately, there was no shortage of worldwide destinations ready to offer them excellent value for money.” – Isabelle Pinson, Vice President, EMEA for Hotels.com brand
- Most popular outbound region: Europe
- Best value region: Asia
- Largest average price increase: Reykjavik at +34%
- Largest average price drop: Istanbul at -23%
What UK travellers paid in their top 100 international destinations
- More than half of the UK travellers’ top 100 destinations in 2016 were in Europe and the region saw many of the highest percentage increases, mostly in double-digits, with Reykjavik and Gran Canaria leading the way. The Icelandic capital has seen a remarkable economic recovery since the financial crisis of 2008.
- Ireland enjoyed particularly strong tourism results over the summer, thanks in part to the success of two major Hollywood productions which were filmed in the country.
- The highest prices paid overall were in Geneva and Zurich, while as a whole, Latvia, Turkey and Eastern Europe offered up average rates which were less than half of those paid in the Swiss cities.
- Tourism to Spain was booming and there were 13 Spanish destinations in the top 100 as UK travellers visited in record numbers. Apart from Benidorm, all 13 destinations recorded double-digit percentage price increases but the country remained good value overall since 9 of the 13 boasted average rates under £100 a night.
- Only four destinations had lower price averages in 2016 compared with 2015: Istanbul, Disneyland Paris, Milan and Paris itself.
- The number of visitors to Turkey fell more than 30% in the first 11 months of the year as several terrorist attacks and a failed military coup in July discouraged travellers. Hotel occupancy rates in France also slumped amid security concerns, with Paris and Nice impacted in particular; however, Paris maintained its spot as the most popular European destination for UK travellers.
- Eleven US cities spanning the country were included in the list of the top 100 destinations for UK travellers in 2016, in spite of the strong US dollar which led to higher prices.
- Six US cities were in the top 10 highest prices paid by UK travellers in 2016, with Boston, New York and San Francisco taking the top three spots. This was despite a slight fall in the average paid in the Massachusetts state capital, the only US destination with a decrease.
- Just one US city made it into the top 10 most popular destinations for UK travellers, achieving record visitor numbers in 2016. New York attracted more than 60 million visitors, continuing its seven-year-long rise.
- Canada enjoyed similar success with averages in both Vancouver and Toronto rising by double figures.
- With decreasing hotel occupancy figures, UK travellers paid the least on average in Orlando among their US favourites.
- Overall, Asia remained the region where UK travellers paid the least in 2016, since 7 out of 10 destinations with the lowest prices paid were in Asia. Furthermore, in 16 of the 21 most popular destinations, the average hotel price was under £100 a night.
- Many price increases were kept to below 10% and four destinations either decreased in price or remained steady from 2015.
- Pattaya in Thailand was the destination where UK travellers paid the least overall, following a modest decrease. The Vietnamese capital Hanoi, the Cambodian resort of Siem Reap and Thailand’s Chiang Mai were only slightly higher.
- For the price of just one night in Boston, British travellers could have spent six nights in Pattaya in 2016.
- Thailand’s hotel industry in particular attracted a huge UK following, with record numbers predicted for 2016. Bangkok was the most popular Asian city for UK travellers overall, making the top 10 most popular international destinations list.
- The highest percentage price decrease was in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.
- With the rise in value of the Yen against the Pound, Tokyo saw the highest percentage price increase among the popular Asian destinations but it was in Singapore where UK travellers paid the most in the region. Ho Chi Minh City, Goa and Bali also saw double-digit percentage increases.
“During the year of the Brexit vote, Asia was the perfect antidote to UK travellers’ currency exchange woes; top Asian destinations presented the ideal opportunity to enjoy an exciting, unique and memorable journey without having to pay over the odds for hotel accommodation.” – Isabelle Pinson, Vice President, EMEA for Hotels.com brand
Rest of the world
- The weakness in the Pound led to higher prices being paid in Australia, although the average prices remained competitive, particularly in Melbourne.
- With more than 40% of its hotel rooms in the 5-star category, average rates paid in Dubai in 2016 were high but, with little pressure on hotel occupancy levels, the increase in the average paid was minimal.
- Brazil welcomed more than half a million international visitors during the Olympic Games in the summer of 2016 with the local hospitality industry recording nearly 99% approval ratings from their guests. However, in a year that also saw political upheaval, Zika concerns and an economic recession, average hotel room prices only saw a slight uptick.
Analysing the Brexit effect
- The Brexit vote in June 2016 and the subsequent fall in value of the Pound had an immediate impact on the prices paid by UK travellers for hotel rooms overseas in the second half of 2016.
- When comparing prices paid in the top 100 destinations from July to December 2016 with the same period in 2015, the Brexit effect is clearly demonstrated, since 80% of them experienced double-digit percentage increases with some reaching as high as 50%.
- European holiday hotspots in particular felt some of the highest effects but the impact was also felt strongly farther afield such as the US and Japan, whose own currencies remained strong against the Pound.