It's not your imagination, hotel rooms have gotten cheaper. According to the hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI) room rates around the world have dropped. According to the hotels.com Hotel Price Index
, hotel prices around the world fell by 17 percent in the first six months of 2009, when compared to the same period in 2008. What's even more interesting is that with the exception of the Caribbean, every major region around the world experienced the sharpest price drops since the hotels.com Hotel Price Index began in January 2004. Latin American hotels were down 18 percent year over year, while North America saw a 17 percent drop and Europe's average was 16 percent lower than it had been a year before.
The hotels.com HPI tracks the real prices paid per hotel room rather than advertised rates, using a weighted average based on the number of rooms sold in each of the markets in which hotels.com operates. The latest report issued looked at hotel prices paid at 78,000 hotels across 13,000 locations around the world for the period January to June 2009, compared to the same period the year before.
In the first half of 2009, the world's most expensive destinations, with the exception of Capri, saw dramatic falls in prices paid by travelers compared to the same period in 2008. Two major U.S. travel destinations, New York and Las Vegas, saw a 30 percent drop in hotel rates in the first half of 2009. In the first half of 2009, New York overtook Las Vegas as the U.S. city with the fastest growth in hotel rooms. A total of 8,000 new rooms are predicted for New York City for 2009. London is also adding rooms in advance of the 2012 Olympics. Hotel room supply in the city increased by more than 3,000 new rooms in 2008 and an additional 3,400 are forecast for 2009.
In the first half of 2009 hotel prices across the United States dropped 17 percent with room rates on average $115 a night down from $139 a night during the same period in 2008. New York City held its spot as the most expensive domestic city for U.S. travelers and Washington, D.C. rose to second place (a response to the travel for the presidential inauguration). Las Vegas had the third least expensive hotel rates in the first half of 2009 but is the top spot for tourists and Orlando, the third most popular destination for U.S. travelers, ranked number 10 in lowest hotel rates.