Global room rates up with Latin America leading as demand outstrips supply

Global room rates up with Latin America leading as demand outstrips supply

Global hotel room rates increased by 1.4% in 2013 against just 1% the previous year, a new study shows.

The research found that 32 of 55 cities with top hotel rates showed a year-on-year increase in local currency in 2012, compared with just 23 of 55 cities in 2011.

The cost of hotel stays in Latin America soared as capacity failed to keep pace with demand from international business travellers looking to cash in on rapidly emerging economies across the region, according to the Hogg Robinson Group study.

Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil showed the highest room rate increases, at 19% and 15% respectively in local currency.

“Latin America is showing strong growth in business travel, and of the top five cities with the highest rate increases, three were from the region,” the annual hotels survey said.

However, the rises were largely cancelled out when viewed in sterling.

Moscow hotels remained the most expensive in the world for business travellers for the ninth consecutive year as rates increased by 4%.

Rates in global financial centres, including London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore, increased over 2011 as confidence in the financial sector gradually showed signs of improving. Tokyo continued to rebound as reconstruction and recovery efforts drew more corporate activity.

Having seen significant declines in average room rates during 2010 and 2011, prices in Dubai rose 2% and are beginning to return to levels not seen since before the Arab Spring.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, cities are experiencing lower rates as business travellers reacted to ongoing security concerns.

Hotel rates grew “significantly” in several cities across the UK, including in Belfast where average prices rose byu 8%, and in London, Aberdeen and Liverpool, where average room rates grew by 5%, according to the report.

The London hotel market demonstrated resilience in the face of global economic turmoil, aided by the Olympics and Jubilee demand. Demand outside the capital is more dependent on the domestic economy.

HRG commercial director Stewart Harvey said the survey shows that regional trends are becoming less relevant as individual cities become bigger players in an ever-shrinking world.

“Though the overall pattern seems to be one of rising average room rates, it’s interesting to see just how varied the picture is within regions, and even within different countries,” he added.

“For several years now, we’ve seen corporates becoming increasingly cost aware and have implemented greater control over travel options. This focus on prudency is expected to continue.”

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