Local hotel room prices up 17% from 2009 on more visitors

KUALA LUMPUR: Local hotel room prices rose 17% to average US$118 (RM359.90) per night in 2010 from a year ago, thanks to a strong recovery in corporate travel coupled with a resurgence of international tourists, according to the latest Hotel Price Index (HPI) by major international hotel accomodation provider

"The Malaysian government continues to invest in the country as a tourism destination, so it is no surprise that Malaysia is enjoyng growing popularity among corporate and leisure travellers alike," said vice president and managing director Johan Svanstrom in a statement on Monday, Mar 21.

Langkawi recorded the highest hotel room prices, at an average of US$201 per night, 11% higher from 2009, while Kuala Lumpur's hotel room prices average rose 15% to US$111 per night.

While hotel room prices in the Asia Pacific region last year were generally lower than in 2009, prices grew by 15% on average from prices during the launch of the index in 2004.

Overall, hotel room prices in certain destinations within the region fell while hubs such as Malaysia and Singapore registered growth, the latter also owing its higher prices to the return of corporate and leisure travellers.

Singapore was the most popular destination for Malaysians last year, despite a 33% jump in prices from 2009. Their next-favourite destination was Hong Kong followed by Japan, the former's hotel room prices up by 27% while the latter's prices contracting by 2%.

This is followed by Bangkok (-1%); Shanghai (23%); Taipei (-3%); Ho Chi Minh City (-6%); London (13%); Melbourne (14%); Seoul (9%); Beijing (1%); Sydney (19%); Osaka (-16%); Siem Reap (-6%) and Paris (7%).

"Short-haul travels are increasingly popular among Malaysians particularly because of the availability of low-cost carriers and the appeal of mid-range hotels. Malaysian travellers should probably maximise the opportunity to travel to the cities with lower room rates now before these destinations too jump on the bandwagon of hotel price increases," advised Svanstrom.

The HPI tracks actual hotel room rates paid by customers in major international destinations using a weighted average based on how many rooms are sold in each of the markets where operates in. It covers 110,000 properties in over 18,000 locations.

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