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Chapter 9: A Look at Canada
2012 Events Summary
This edition of the Hotel Price Index™ (HPI™) compares actual hotel prices paid year over year, let’s take a quick look back at the first half of 2012.
The year started off quite calm for Canadians, especially as it related to weather. We had a mild winter with above-normal temperatures in many areas of Canada, particularly in the Prairie provinces.
As winter came to an end, Quebec began to dominate headlines when its student strike started in February. The strike, considered the longest and largest in Canadian history, was prompted by provincial tuition increases. The media spotlight then remained on Central Canada as several bizarre, and violent, incidents made international headlines.
In more positive news, hockey fan favourite Sidney Crosby made his long-awaited return to the rink. Following upon Prince William and Lady Katherine’s visit in June 2011, Canadians were treated to a second royal visit in May – this time we hosted Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. The royal couple travelled to three provinces during their trip which started on the East Coast in New Brunswick, moved through Central Canada in Ontario and finished in Prairie province, Saskatchewan.
Much like the winter, we also had an above-normal summer for temperatures. Provinces in Canada were affected by high temperatures which led to heat alerts across Ontario and Quebec and wildfires throughout Northern Alberta, Northern Ontario and Southeastern Manitoba.
Speaking of hot, travel was definitely on the radar for Canadians out to satisfy their wanderlust in the first half of the year. On average, Canadians spent 5% more on hotel accommodation worldwide than in 2011. Regions which saw the biggest increases included the Pacific and Caribbean at 8%, Asia at 7% and North America with a 5% increase.
Major changes were reported worldwide, including Poland which saw the largest increase in hotel rates, up 24% for an average daily rate of $127. Poland received the international spotlight when they co-hosted Euro 2012, the third-largest sporting event in the world, with the Ukraine in the summer. Other countries that saw an increase included the United Arab Emirates whose rates went up 19% ($174), Colombia which went up 16% ($162) and China and New Zealand which both saw a 15% jump, settling at $121 and $124 respectively.
Not all areas of the world were on the rise and regions that saw a decrease in hotel rates included both Europe and the Middle East. Greece, which is still making headlines due to its ongoing debt problems and discussions of leaving the eurozone, saw a decline of 11% ($136). Other countries with significant decreases included St. Lucia which dropped 27% ($186) and Indonesia which fell 16% ($124).
Top 10 Countries with the biggest increase in Canadian spend ($CAD)
Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver continued their reign as the big three in Canada. Toronto may not have had any major increases this year, coming in just 1% higher with an average daily hotel rate of $141, but it still remained on top for both domestic and international travellers. This leading city appeals to visitors for its diverse range of activities and attractions.
West Coast Vancouver, which in 2011 was number one for international visitors, dropped a spot in the first half of 2012 and French-speaking Montreal rounded out the top three for non-Canadians. Domestic travellers switched it up a bit choosing Montreal as their second most popular destination, and Vancouver as number three.
If you’re looking to travel, and really, who isn’t? Start looking now. There are great hotel deals to be found, all around the world, and the HPI is the perfect guide if you’re not quite sure which destinations are best for you. And when in doubt, follow your passions. If you’re always on the go, our mobile app is a must-have and, for frequent travellers, Welcome Rewards® is a great way to have those hotel stays pay off as travellers can earn one free night for every 10 stayed. So what are you waiting for? Start booking!
Lauren Wasley energi PR for Hotels.com Phone: (416) 425-9143 ext. 19 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Naz Araghian energi PR for Hotels.com Phone: (416) 425-9143 ext. 14 Email: email@example.com
Taylor L. Cole, APR Hotels.com North America Phone: (469) 335-8442 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
** All prices in this section are in Canadian dollars.