Prices are falling, making travel more affordable. According to hotels.com's Hotel Price Index (HPI) (March 23, 2009), the average price of a hotel room around the world dropped 12% in the fourth quarter last year as compared to the fourth quarter of 2007.
The largest drops were in North America and Europe. Prices are about where they were when the index was started in 2004. Since the HPI tracks prices paid, not advertised prices, it's a pretty good indicator of what's going on.
Here's what they found:
"Some of the notable findings about U.S. destinations included in this year's report:
New York was the most expensive U.S. destination of those tracked in the global list, with prices averaging $255 during Q4 2008 - a fall of more than one-fifth (22 percent) compared to the same period in 2007.
Washington, D.C. saw the sharpest price increase of any U.S. destination, with a 10 percent rise to $120 compared to Q4 2007. Demand for properties in the nation's capital surged as travelers planned trips for the presidential inauguration.
Among the United States, New York was the most expensive destination, followed by Hawaii and Massachusetts. The least expensive states for travelers in Q4 2008 were Idaho, Nevada and South Dakota.
New York topped American travelers' lists as the most popular domestic city destination, followed by Las Vegas, Orlando, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
For Americans venturing outside the country, Toronto was the most popular destination for U.S. travelers, followed by London. Paris, Rome and Hong Kong also made the top 10 list of international favorites for American travelers.
For international travelers visiting the United States, New York, Las Vegas and Miami were the top destinations in Q4 2008. "