As the global economy slowly recovers from the last two years of financial turmoil, Americans felt more secure spending money on leisure travel at home and away, but paid on average more for a night’s hotel stay in 2010 than in 2009 – a two percent increase in global hotel prices. Due to the weakened dollar, Americans paid more in 2010 to visit Asia (+4%), Europe (+3%), Latin America (+2%), and North America (+2%) while prices in the Caribbean stayed unchanged.
2010 Winter Olympics, 2010 FIFA World Cup, World Expo
In early 2010, Vancouver was the proud host of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Visitors from all over the world came to this Canadian city to support their country’s athletes. As one of the most popular international cities for Americans to visit, Vancouver saw a 13% increase in average daily rates year-over-year, where rooms, on average, cost almost $160 a night.
As the first African nation to host one of the most celebrated international sporting events, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa found itself in the global spotlight. Hoteliers in cities and towns near stadiums including Cape Town, Durban, and Sandton saw an average of a 23% increase in the average daily room rate. Average room prices paid in Sandton were almost $211 – a 34% increase year-over-year.
Shanghai was the center of attention as over 73 million visitors traveled to the financial hub of China during the World Expo. The city jumped 17 spots on the HPI, to the 20th most visited city by Americans in 2010. Average daily room rates in the city were at $143 per night – nearly $27 less than the year before.
Travelers Scoff at Mother Nature’s Fury
From major earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and China, to the volcanic eruption in Iceland, travelers are consistently at the mercy of natural disasters, and 2010 was no exception. Despite these unexpected events, average room prices in China’s major metropolitan hubs saw increases, while Chile’s Vina Del Mar saw an average room rate of $188 in 2010 – a 39% rise year-over-year.
The April 2010 volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland caused major airports in Europe to shut down as travelers scrambled to make alternative travel plans. Average room prices in Iceland dropped 8% in 2010 when compared to 2009. Reykjavik, the country’s capital, saw room prices drop to nearly $120 a night.
No stranger to natural disasters, New Orleans is making a comeback after Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans is longer enticing visitors with barely there prices, as the city posted a 12% increase in room rates. Travelers in 2010 booked rooms for $132 a night, on average.
Royal Engagement Rounds Out Financial Turmoil, Political Unrest, Man-Made Disasters and More!
The global economy continues to weigh on everyone’s mind, and was exacerbated by the mounting financial debt of Greece and Ireland, oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the violent protests in Thailand. Where there is turmoil, travelers were able to find the best value. Average room rates booked in Ireland and Greece, $117 and $157, dropped 5% and 6% respectively year-over-year. Coastal states in the U.S. and Thailand were resilient enough in 2010 to post modest increases.
The highly anticipated royal nuptials of this year’s “it” couple, Prince William and his fiancée, Kate Middleton, put the spotlight back on the United Kingdom. Average room rates in the UK posted an 11% increase year-over-year where travelers paid $192 per night to stay in a hotel.
Movies such as Sex and the City 2, Letters to Juliet, Eat Pray Love, and The Tourist boasted A-list stars and featured adventurous and exotic locales such as Abu Dhabi, Bali, Rome, Paris, and more.
- Travelers heading to Bali may have to pay more for their spiritual journey. Average room prices in Bali shot up 35% where travelers paid nearly $188 per night in 2010.
- Despite the glitz and glam that exuded from the movie Sex and the City 2 where the fashionable foursome made their way to Abu Dhabi, everyday travelers stayed in this city for 37% less in 2010 than what others paid in 2009. Americans paid $165 last year instead of nearly $260 in 2009.