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Chapter 1: Global Price Changes
Overall prices in the Asia-Pacific region have remained steady, thanks to key markets showing resilience through global economic dips in the latter half of 2011. Across Asia, hotel prices have fallen while the Pacific region saw a high increase.
While the travel industry was hit by last year’s natural disasters in Japan and Thailand, the strength of business travel sustained occupancy and prices in many of the major destinations. Tokyo and other cities in Japan saw prices and demand fall abruptly in March but have since been on a recovery path. Elsewhere, Hong Kong experienced strong upward rate pressure throughout the year.
In China, there was a varied picture. While Beijing saw a rise due to a steady increase in tourism and trade, Shanghai rates plummeted with the city unable to maintain healthy occupancy levels following the World Expo. A bit surprisingly, hotel prices in popular shopping and business hubs such as Kuala Lumpur and Singapore remained steady or only saw a small rise.
There continues to be tailwind effects from increased flight options and strong regional economies, encouraging consumers' travel spending. Currency exchange fluctuations could however yet again play a role for inbound demand which for most of 2011 was disadvantaged by strong local Asian currencies
Given growing demand in both leisure and corporate sectors, hotel prices and occupancy rates in Asia are likely to be on a modest upward trajectory this year. As usual though, deals and opportunities will arise in the region and active researching is recommended.
—Johan Svanstrom, Vice President, Hotels.com APAC
Pacific Hits the Heights
- The biggest percentage increase in average prices occurred in the Pacific region, up 8%.
- The HPI reached 118 points, a full 18 points above the level when the HPI launched in 2004. This jump was fuelled in part by the relative strengths of the economies and currencies in Australia and New Zealand, as well as the resilience of corporate travel.
- Despite the rise, prices were still below the 2006 level (120), which was welcome news for travelers staying in this region.