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Mena region leads global hotel price increase

SYDNEY:  The Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region saw the highest increase in hotel price over the year, according to HotelsCombined’s latest Hotel Price Trends Report released recently.

Mena recorded an increase in hotel price of 8% year-on-year (y-o-y), while overall global hotel prices increased 4%. The y-o-y report compared rates from December, January and February 2011/2012 to December, January and February 2012/2013. The price trends report is based on the top 300 destinations searched and booked on HotelsCombined.com, a hotel price comparison site.

The top individual locations for price rises were Alanya and Marmaris in Turkey; Sousse in Tunisia; Bintan in Indonesia; and Vilamoura in Portugal. Menorca in Spain; Minsk in Belarus; Kiev in Ukraine; Beirut in Lebanon; and Rimini in Italy saw the most drastic price falls.

“As we saw in last year’s report, the Mena region continues to post the greatest price increases. Egypt and Tunisia continue to show a strong rebound in tourism from the Arab Spring. However, Lebanon continues to struggle, likely because of its proximity to war-torn Syria,” said Kristen McKenzie, HotelsCombined.com PR and community manager.

She added that it is no surprise the Mena region is again showing strong growth.

“These destinations are booming for both leisure and business travellers, thanks to continued investment and added attractions like the world’s biggest ferris wheel planned for Dubai. We won’t see this area slowing down its hotel rate increases anytime soon,” said McKenzie.

HotelsCombined is however, surprised by the enormous spike posted across Turkey. Demand for Turkey’s ski resorts, which offer cheap package deals and high-quality snow fields, as well as reported increases in food and labour costs, saw Turkey in the top five price increase list twice. Accommodation prices in Alanya increased 66% last quarter, taking the report’s No 1 spot. Marmaris was placed at No 3 with price increases of 37%.

“While this is probably due to increases in labour and food prices, as well as to the popularly of all-inclusive ski resorts, it’s important to note that Turkey has experienced significant technological growth recently, most especially within the online and mobile sectors. It will be interesting to see how this progress continues to impact Turkey’s tourism industry moving forward,” said McKenzie.

Recording the second highest hotel rate spike was Southeast Asia with an overall price increase of 6%. Bintan led the pack with price rises of 37%, followed by Port Dickson and Johor Baru in Malaysia with 21% and 18% respectively.

HotelsCombined attributed Southeast Asia’s healthy rate increase to the steady stream of Australian tourists heading there due to the strong Australian dollar.

The report also showed significant price increases in Greece, which could be a sign of recovery from its recent financial burdens. On the flip side of the coin, many major European destinations such as Amsterdam, Bucharest, Budapest, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, Helsinki, Kiev, Lisbon, Madrid, Oslo, Paris and Warsaw saw moderate to significant price decreases.


This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 12, 2013.

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