US OUTBOUND – RISE IN SPENDING

The “Hotel Price Index” (HPI) from Hotels.com reveals more US travellers spent their money on experiences abroad in 2017.

After three years, prices travellers paid for overnight accommodations rose 2% globally in 2017, according to the latest Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI).

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.

“The slight increase in average accommodation prices globally, combined with numerous markets having record visitor growth, has signalled a strong travel economy and a growing desire from consumers to experience the world,” said Johan Svanstrom, president of Hotels.com. “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 a part of it. ”

In the US, more citizens have a passport than ever before, and as a result they are looking to get out and experience the world, despite an increase in prices paid for hotel stays.

A few of the study’s key findings:

  • Las Vegas was the most popular destination for US domestic travel as visitors continued to flock to Sin City for leisure and conventions
  • New York City was the second most popular US domestic location despite relatively high average prices paid
  • Next on the list of “Most Popular Domestic Destinations for American Travellers” include Orlando (ranked 3rd), San Diego (ranked 4th) and Chicago (ranked 5th)
  • The largest average price drops for overnight stays for international visitors were in ChicagoHonolulu and Philadelphia, all decreasing by 4% since 2016
  • London was the most popular international spot for US travellers, followed by ParisTorontoTokyo and Rome
  • Thailand was the most popular country in Asia for U.S. travelers
  • Americans found the largest average price increase in Lisbon at 13% and the largest average price drop in Dubai with a decrease of 6%

Sunshine South of the Border – Mexico
There is no doubt that travellers are looking to relax and enjoy the sunshine while on vacation. CancunPlaya Del Carmen and Mexico City were the top destinations in Mexico for U.S. travellers. Among the cities analysed, Americans traveling to Mexico paid the most for rooms in Playa Del Carmen– which had an average price of $247 per night – an increase of 2% from 2016.

Americans Flocked Across the Pond
With more than 40% of Americans having passports in 2017, Europe topped the charts for the most desirable outbound region and London was first on the list of international destinations. Despite the high prices, the capital’s long-standing appeal as a bucket-list city got some help from the pound – which has brought average accommodation prices down by 2% since 2016.

Travellers had fiestas in Spain, which became the 2nd most visited country in the world, and 6th for U.S. travellers in 2017 with an average of $163 per night. Americans looking to explore without breaking the bank found the best value in Istanbul, paying on average of $92 per night.

Stretching the Budget in Asia
U.S. travellers found themselves paying more for their overnight accommodations in 70% of their Top 50 international destinations, but not in Asia. The HPI reported that Chiang Mai (ranked 49th), Ho Chi Minh City (ranked 34th) and Bangkok (ranked 5th) had the lowest international average prices paid per night – all averaging below $100 per night. Thailand was the most popular country in the region for U.S. travellers, and welcomed 35 million visitors from around the world in 2017.