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Chapter 2: Price Changes in Global Destinations

Bixby Bridge overlooking California's coastline in Big Sur

Relax and enjoy the Seychelles untouched beauty

Lake Como is one of only two cities on The Most Expensive Cities list that is not an island

For the fourth consecutive year islands have topped the Hotels.com® World’s Most Expensive Countries list. This year they are: Maldives, French Polynesia, Seychelles, Turks and Caicos and Anguilla. Furthermore, eight of the 10 most expensive destinations on The World’s Most Expensive Cities list are situated on islands. Big Sur, along California’s central coast, and Tremezzo, nestled on the banks of Italy's world-renown Lake Como, are the only two destinations not located on islands to make the list.

Maldives remains at the top of the list of most expensive countries for travel in 2012. The small nation located in the Indian Ocean, with over 1,100 islands, made global headlines in 2012 with news of political instability and an alleged coup. The turmoil resulted in hotel prices decreasing slightly (-2%) as hotel occupancy dropped. Bora Bora and Moorea, French Polynesia, named top islands in Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best Awards,” saw a 17% increase in hotel prices. Rates rose to $426 though remain more than $150 less than Maldives.

Seychelles, an increasingly popular island destination between Madagascar and the Maldives, was again on the Most Expensive Countries list and saw a 7% increase in visitor arrivals - twice as many visitors as its total population. This can most likely be contributed to Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to the island last year and the increased airline service to the tropical paradise.

A popular vacation destination along California's coastal highway, Big Sur made its debut on The World’s Most Expensive Cities list. Between its desirable location and extremely expensive land, it’s no surprise that Big Sur has risen to be the most costly locale. Travelers can pamper themselves at the cliff-side, eco-friendly Post Ranch Inn, where one Hotels.com Guest Review raved, “…stunning location in Big Sur. Come and relax and be pampered. Great restaurant.  Friendly, accommodating staff. First class all of the way.”

The World's Most Expensive Countries

Country 2012 ADR 2011 ADR YoY ADR
1. Maldives $581 $594 -2%
2. French Polynesia $426 $366 16%
3. Seychelles $394 $387 2%
4. Turks and Caicos $392 $358 9%
5. Anguilla $377 $329 15%

The World's Most Expensive Cities (by greatest price)

City 2012 ADR 2011 ADR YoY ADR
1. Big Sur, California, U.S.A $771 $655 18%
2. Bora Bora, French Polynesia $768 $646 19%
3. Tremezzo, Italy $569 $485 17%
4. Soufriere, St. Lucia $463 $405 14%
5. Paynes Bay, Barbados $453 $472 -4%
6. Moorea, French Polynesia $444 $435 2%
7. Wailea (Maui), Hawaii, U.S.A $439 $399 10%
8. Cap Estate, St. Lucia $413 $386 7%
9. Vihamanafushi, Maldives $405 $424 -5%
10. West End, Anguilla $404 $348 16%