What did British travellers pay for accommodation abroad?
Download the full list of cities analysed
What UK Travellers Pay Around the World
The pound was down but UK travel numbers were up
You’d think that a weak pound and increases in overnight accommodation prices in 2017 might deter UK travellers from heading overseas, but you’d be way wrong.
Slightly more Brits – 4% to be exact – were packing their bags and heading to international destinations than in 2016, even though they were paying more for overseas stays in nearly all of their 100 most popular destinations. As you’ll see in additional articles, those looking for a staycation found brilliant value right across the UK with many destinations holding their 2016 prices.
Here’s the low-down on the 2017 Hotel Price Index for UK travellers.
Ready? Then let’s go…
- Most popular outbound region: Europe
- Best value region: Asia
- Largest average price increase: Albufeira at +27%
- Largest average price drop: Dubai at -2%
Spain beats America, Portugal performs, Latvia stays low and no Greek tragedy for hoteliers
UK travellers overwhelmingly chose to stay in Europe in 2017, nipping over to the mainland for over half of the Top 100 international destinations visited. Many countries reported record visitor numbers – we’re looking at you Spain, Greece and Portugal – and those 3 countries in particular reflected those increased visitors with increased prices. Athens and Santorini saw average room prices go up 19% and 15% respectively, while Lisbon, which has young creatives flocking to it as the ‘new Berlin’ (but with amazing weather and a beach) increased its prices 18% since 2016. Albufeira and Porto also saw high percentage increases this year. Portugal is fast becoming THE place to be; Madonna just bought a house there, need we say more? Other European countries, including Russia, Turkey and Netherlands also saw double-digit increases.
We all said a massive Viva! to Espana, which overtook the USA in 2017 to become the 2nd most visited country on the planet behind France. UK travellers put 14 Spanish cities in their Top 100 and they were still finding great value as 6 of those cities had accommodation at less than £100 per night on average.
Switzerland is home to cuckoo clocks, fondue and the highest average prices paid for overnight stays by UK travellers, with Geneva coming in at £165. Fellow Swiss destination Zurich dropped 1% in 2017, but was still one of the most expensive places to stay. To compare, visitors to Riga, Istanbul and Benalmadena would have seen average prices half as much as the rates paid in the Swiss cities.
Mon dieu! The Hotel Price Index found romantic Paris was the most popular international destination for the British and reflected its popularity with a 10% rise in average overnight accommodation prices. And good news for travellers – it wasn’t among the 20 European destinations that had the highest prices. Disneyland Paris celebrated its 25th birthday in 2017, but guests to the party saw an average rise in price of nearly 15%.
Amsterdam was the 2nd most popular city with Brits who were looking to, erm, kick back and relax by the famous canals. Visitors saw an increase of 10% in average nightly room price, but this may be due to the steady (rather than increasing) number of rooms as the city is halting the building of new hotels in much of the area.
LA had a record number of visitors while Canada celebrated its 150th birthday
UK visitors paid the highest average price in Boston and found best value in Orlando
We don’t want to get into politics but it probably won’t surprise you that 2017 visitor numbers to the USA fell from the previous year and the previous 11 cities UK travellers had in their Top 100 international destinations list was down to 10 – bye Nola (that’s New Orleans if you’re not up on the lingo). The Big Apple stood strong though and made number 3 in the worldwide popularity ranking for Brits.
In terms of travel budgets, the weak pound didn’t impact the pockets of UK visitors too much, with the increases in prices paid for overnight accommodation in the USA staying well below 10% – Washington D.C. seeing only a 1% increase. Let’s hear it for the City of Angels, which set a new record with more than 48 million visitors. LA also had the USA’s highest percentage increase, although this was still only 8%. Boston had the highest average overnight price for UK travellers, up 7% from 2016. And, theme park mecca Orlando had the lowest, closely followed by Las Vegas, which, as we know, tends to make its money in other ways…
Across the northern border, Canada celebrated its 150th anniversary and Vancouver and Toronto were up 20% in prices paid for accommodation. In general, Canada remained more competitive than the USA.
Asia had the best value anywhere! Get this, 9 out of the 10 lowest prices paid across the world were found there
It might take half a day and cost a bit to fly to, but for UK travellers, Asia was easily the best value. Twenty-two Asian destinations made it into the UK’s Top 100 most popular international cities list and, even though all of them saw a rise in average price for accommodation, 15 kept things below £100 per night. To put that in perspective, UK travellers could have a week in Pattaya for the same price as 1 night in Boston.
Thailand welcomed 35 million visitors from around the world in 2017 (yet ANOTHER place having a record year for visitors) and was the most popular Asian destination for Brits. Bangkok remained in the Top 10 list and those heading for a Full Moon Party on Koh Samui saw the highest percentage rise in the region (14%) – although visitors were still only paying an average of £85 per night there.
Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo tied in the top spot for where UK travellers paid the most for accommodation in Asia – each costing an average of £123 per night.
Rest of the world
Africa ascends, Dubai goes down, Sydney soars
The 2 largest average price increases in this section happened at both ends of Africa: Marrakech, Morocco was up 14% and Cape Town, South Africa was up 15%.
UAE had mixed results – on the one hand, Dubai was 8th on the Top 10 international destinations list and saw an increase in visitors from the UK but it also saw its average price drop by 3%. With fellow UAE destination Abu Dhabi seeing a 1% fall, we’re thinking that the heightened competition from a raft of new hotel openings in both cities might be the cause of this.0
Heading Down Under (g’day): Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane all kept Australia in the Top 100 list and all 3 saw average prices paid by UK travellers increase in 2017. Sydney had both the highest price paid (£140) and highest average increase (13%). Could it be that the country was revving up for hosting the Commonwealth Games this year?