TORONTO — After three flat years hotel prices were up 2% globally in 2017.
The two-point rise in the global index to 116 is the closest the Hotel Price Index (HPI) has been to the 2007 peak of 118.
Every regional index, except for North America, grew in 2017, signaling strong growth in the travel industry. Before this there was seven years of continued growth in the North American index since its low point of 96 in 2009, says Hotels.com, which oversees the HPI.
The HPI was set at 100 in 2004, its inaugural year. Using the index format Hotels.com can highlight year-over-year variations in actual prices paid per night by travellers without foreign exchange fluctuations distorting the picture.
“The slight increase in average accommodation prices globally combined with numerous markets having record visitor growth signals a strong travel economy and a growing desire from consumers to experience the world. Cultural events have inspired travel more than ever before as we aspire not to just stand by and observe the action, but to instead actually be part of it,” said Hotels.com President Johan Svanstrom.
Canadian travellers paid more for accommodation in over 60% of their Top 50 international destinations in 2017, according to HPI data.
Meanwhile price drops drove Canadian visitors to the U.S. Despite a decline in overall number of foreign visitors to the U.S. in 2017, the U.S. remained the most popular outbound region for Canadians, who crossed the border in greater numbers, with New York keeping its spot as the #1 international destination.
The HPI shows that the U.S. had some major price drops across the country in notoriously expensive cities.
European travel destinations fluctuated in price and popularity. Places like Portugal, Spain and Greece saw an increase in prices paid on accommodation overall as tourism hit record numbers. The HPI indicates a 10% rise in prices in Lisbon and Santorini, and a 7% increase in Barcelona.
In Asia, a strengthening dollar against the Japanese yen meant that Tokyo recorded the highest fall in average price, dropping 7% compared to 2016.
In South America, the Colombian city of Medellín made the top 200 for the first time, while Bogota cracked the top 100 most popular international destinations with a 40-spot gain. Prices in Bogota now average $107 a night in 2017.
Here at home, Canada 150 celebrations created a record tourism boom. HPI data shows that while the country overall saw an average increase of only 2%, most major destinations were up even more. Toronto and Montreal, also celebrating its 375th birthday, were both up 8%.
The highest average increases were Mont Tremblant and Banff, where, together with Vancouver, overnight stays averaged over $200 a night. Niagara Falls was up 4%.