Although 2018 witnessed numerous uncertainties such as Brexit, earthquakes and floods in Japan, hurricanes in Florida and the Carolinas, wildfires in California and drought in South Africa, the latest Hotel Price Index (HPI) report from Hotels.com found that bad news didn’t stop travelers from packing their bags.
Key Global Findings
Asia retains its position as the most affordable region. The Caribbean continues its nine-year growth in prices. The Pacific also retains its position as the third-highest priced in the region, after the Caribbean and Latin America, however it is still rated as a top holiday destination for families.
The HPI report reveals there has been a global hike in accommodation prices by 3 percent in 2018, reaching an all-time high level since 2004. The U.S. hotel industry saw growth among domestic travelers with average prices rising in 27 of the top 50 destinations. Compared to 2017, international travelers paid 2 percent more for their hotel accommodations in the U.S. per night, as average costs increased in 33 of the top 50 destinations.
Las Vegas was once again the “Most Popular Domestic Destinations for American Travelers” followed by New York, Orlando, Florida, San Diego and Chicago. The U.S. hotel industry reported higher visitor numbers, mostly by domestic travelers.
2018 was the best year for Canadian tourism, with international travelers surpassing 21 million for the first time. Canada recorded a whopping 14.44 million U.S. travelers in 2018, the highest since 2004.
Toronto topped the “Most Popular Canadian Destinations for International Travelers” followed by Vancouver, Montreal, Niagara Falls and Calgary.
HPI also revealed that travelers displayed confidence in destinations affected by unrest like Egypt, Paris and Turkey. For American and Canadian travelers, destinations like Ireland, Japan and Turkey made it to the top.
Although Turkey was facing an economic and financial crisis in 2018, Turkey’s tourism boomed with Istanbul jumping more than ten spots in the top 50 most popular destinations for both American and Canadian travelers. International visitors in Turkey went up by 22 percent and Istanbul recorded the highest rise in the price paid by American travelers.
Ireland’s flexible visa requirements and a visit from Pope Francis in August helped attract a record high of more than 10 million travelers in 2018. In Dublin, American travelers paid 10 percent more on accommodations, an average of $207 per night.
Visitor numbers in Japan, Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto grew by almost 9 percent for a record high of 32 million. Osaka and Kyoto rose more than 10 spots on the U.S. and Canada’s most popular international destinations list.