International travellers seeking seaside destinations paid the highest hotel prices in 2018, reveals Hotels.com Hotel Price Index
The latest Hotel Price Index™ (HPI™) from Hotels.com™ has revealed that Australian seaside destinations saw the steepest price rises for both domestic and international travellers in 2018, as tourists spent a record $42.9 billion in Australia.
According to the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index, the Whitsunday Islands was the most expensive destination for international travellers of the top 20 most popular destinations, with an average price of $248 per night. The islands also topped the list for highest price rises for international travellers, with a 10% increase on prices from the previous year – a result of ongoing refurbishment of hotels and resorts such as Daydream Island, following the devastation caused by Cyclone Debbie in 2017.
Other seaside destinations – Port Douglas, the Sunshine Coast and Byron Bay – came in at third, fourth and fifth for premium pricing for international travellers, with an average cost per night of $219, $214 and $203 respectively. Port Douglas and the Sunshine Coast both recorded price rises of 7% on 2017, with Byron Bay the only one in the top five to record a price fall of 2%.
Rounding out the list, Sydney recorded the second highest average price per night at $237, a 2% increase on 2017, and retained its place as the most popular tourist destination for international travellers. Melbourne and Brisbane kept their rank at second and third place, while the Sunshine Coast overtook the Whitsunday Islands to take out ninth place, up from 10 in 2017 – no doubt bolstered by major airlines increasing their passenger numbers and routes to Sunshine Coast Airport.
Zoe Chan, Head of PR – Asia Pacific for the Hotels.com brand, said: “Despite the fact that overall overseas visitor numbers to Australia were up in 2018, accommodation prices were relatively steady across the board, with the average country-wide price paid by overseas guests the same as 2017, at $177 per night.”
“This ongoing stability in the Australian accommodation market is great to see – and it’s even better that overseas visitors are increasingly willing to pay a premium to get the best beachside holidays in Australia,” added Chan.
Townsville, Alice Springs and Darwin reported the lowest accommodation prices for international travellers in 2018, as well as the largest drops in prices. Prices in Townsville averaged $121 per night, a 2% decline on the previous year, while Alice Springs sat at $125 off the back of a 1% decline. Prices in Darwin took a 2% decrease, down to $130.
Globally, average accommodation prices across the world rose to their highest point in more than a decade – up 3% – levels not seen since 2004.
For domestic travellers, the top 20 Aussie destinations rose 1% on the previous year, with an average price per night of $158. A gap of $105 marked the difference between the highest and lowest prices paid by Aussies in the top 20 destinations.
Highest prices paid by Aussies were found in Byron Bay ($234), Port Douglas ($232) and the Whitsunday Islands ($229).
Price rises were steepest in Newcastle, which rose 8% to sit at $172, followed by Port Douglas ($232), with a rise of 7%, and the Whitsunday Islands, which rose by 6%.
In contrast, Australians paid the least in Albury ($129), Townsville ($130) and Darwin ($138). Darwin experienced the largest decline in prices overall compared to 2017, falling 8%, while Sydney experienced a decline of 3% on 2017, with an average price of $205.
Despite its declining prices, Albury managed to move up two places in the popularity rankings for Aussies, to sit at number 20. Hervey Bay also moved up two places to 18th place, with both being the largest ladder climbers of the top 20. Cairns was the only faller of the top 20, moving down from 9th place to 10th.
About The Hotels.com Hotel Price Index
The HPI is a regular report on accommodation prices in major destinations across the world, tracking the movement in prices that people actually paid for their accommodation and providing valuable insight into the reasons behind these changes. The data is drawn from bookings made on the hundreds of thousands of accommodation options on the Hotels.com websites worldwide. The HPI was set at 100 in its inaugural year, 2004. The index format allows Hotels.com to highlight year-over-year variations in actual prices paid per night by travellers without foreign exchange fluctuations distorting the picture.