UK hotel rates fell 16% year on year in the first half of 2009, according to accommodation site hotels.com. However, prices fell even more for visitors from the US and the euro zone, falling 28% in US dollars and 22% in euros.
Hotels.com’s latest Hotel Price Index reveals the average room rate as £83 between January and June, compared with £99 a year earlier.
Hotels.com managing director Nigel Pocklington expressed surprise at the “scale and acceleration” of the fall in rates. He said: “We know rates have been falling since summer 2008, but these are double-digit decreases. It’s a collapse. People are paying the same now as in 2003. We have seen nothing like this apart from the immediate aftermath of 9/11.”
Room rates have fallen across the board, with some cities such as Southampton slashing prices by up to 33% while London’s hotels have cut prices by 12% on average.
However, hotels.com reported worldwide hotel prices down 17% year-on-year in the first six months of 2009, with every major region affected. Latin America saw the greatest hit, with rates down 18%, while the Caribbean saw prices fall 2%.
Pocklington suggested the trend was unlikely to continue into 2010. “Rates may flatten, but we don’t think we will be talking about further dramatic falls. We are somewhere near the bottom,” he said.