Hotel prices rise

By | Category: Travel rumblings
as the economy improves, hotel rooms will probably cost more  © Dan Sperrin

as the economy improves, hotel rooms will probably cost more
© Dan Sperrin

It is an unhappy truism for the holidaymaker and traveller that as the economy picks up and more people travel, accommodation prices increase.  It many ways what travellers want are flat economies or deflation, an oversupply of accommodation and lower occupancy rates all of which drive prices down.

It’s not happening like that as the latest Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®) from Hotels.com shows.  Hotel guests staying in the UK in 2014 paid an average room rate of £104 a night, a 2% increase on 2013.  That may not appear much of an increase but it masks some fairly substantial increases.

Bristol recorded the greatest gain of 13% over the year, rising from £78 to £87. Glasgow was up 12% to £86, recorded the second highest rise, boosted in part by the contribution from the Commonwealth Games held there last summer suggesting – surprise, surprise – that hoteliers took advantage of this to boost their profits. Oxford and Durham both saw an 11% increase with hotel prices paid averaging at £127 and £80 respectively.

The HPI looks at actual prices paid in 2014 by hotel guests in destinations around the world rather than the prices that hotels quote so are a much more realistic guide to what is really happening.

Aberdeen may have advanced by 10% last year but given the oil price drop this year may not see an increase, more likely a decrease. But Dundee saw a 9% increase.  Both Cardiff and Swansea saw a 8% rise.

Only five places in the UK saw decreases: the Cotswolds Jersey, the Lake District, Canterbury and Sheffield. Is that because prices had been a little too high the year before and had stabilized; that the local economy is not as solid as it was or are there more rooms than are necessary?

Whatever the answer it doesn’t look as though the traveler is going to find that many bargains around this year and should probably plan on paying more for short breaks than was paid last year.

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