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Hotel Price Index from Hotels.com reveals U.S. travelers spent their money on experiences abroad

DALLAS – After three years, prices travelers paid for overnight accommodations rose 2% globally in 2017, according to the latest Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI). In a year where cryptocurrencies flooded the market, hashtags took over the red carpet and political debate turned well, political, the needle has also moved for travelers, with a two-point rise in the global Index to 116, the closest it has been to the 2007 peak of 118.

“The slight increase in average accommodation prices globally, combined with numerous markets having record visitor growth, has signaled a strong travel economy and a growing desire from consumers to experience the world,” said Johan Svanstrom, president of Hotels.com. “Cultural events have inspired travel more than ever before as we aspire not to just stand by and observe the action, but to instead actually be a part of it. “

In the U.S., more citizens have a passport than ever before, and as a result they are looking to get out and experience the world, despite an increase in prices paid* for hotel stays.

A few of the study’s key findings:

  • Las Vegas was the most popular destination for U.S. domestic travel as visitors continued to flock to Sin City for leisure and conventions
  • New York City was the second most popular U.S. domestic location despite relatively high average prices paid
  • Next on the list of “Most Popular Domestic Destinations for American Travelers” include Orlando (ranked 3rd), San Diego (ranked 4th) and Chicago (ranked 5th)
  • The largest average price drops for overnight stays for international visitors were in Chicago, Honolulu and Philadelphia, all decreasing by 4% since 2016
  • London was the most popular international spot for U.S. travelers, followed by Paris, Toronto, Tokyo and Rome
  • Thailand was the most popular country in Asia for U.S. travelers
  • Americans found the largest average price increase in Lisbon at 13% and the largest average price drop in Dubai with a decrease of 6%

Sunshine South of the Border – Mexico
There is no doubt that travelers are looking to relax and enjoy the sunshine while on vacation. Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Mexico City were the top destinations in Mexico for U.S. travelers. Among the cities analyzed, Americans traveling to Mexico paid the most for rooms in Playa Del Carmen– which had an average price of $247 per night – an increase of 2% from 2016.

Americans Flocked Across the Pond
With more than 40% of Americans traveling overseas in 2017, Europe topped the charts for the most desirable outbound region and London was first on the list of international destinations. Despite the high prices, the capital’s long-standing appeal as a bucket-list city got some help from the pound – which has brought average accommodation prices down by 2% since 2016.

Travelers had fiestas in Spain, which became the 2nd most visited country in the world, and 6th for U.S. travelers in 2017 with an average of $163 per night. Americans looking to explore without breaking the bank found the best value in Istanbul, paying on average of $92 per night.

Stretching the Budget in Asia
U.S. travelers found themselves paying more for their overnight accommodations in 70% of their Top 50 international destinations, but not in Asia. The HPI reported that Chiang Mai (ranked 49th), Ho Chi Minh City (ranked 34th) and Bangkok (ranked 5th) had the lowest international average prices paid per night – all averaging below $100 per night. Thailand was the most popular country in the region for U.S. travelers, welcoming 35 million visitors in 2017.

In addition to the great value destinations and hidden gems found in the HPI, travelers that haven’t yet padded their wallets with cryptocurrency can take advantage of programs like Hotels.com Rewards, which lets you earn free** nights while you sleep and gain access to instant savings like Secret Prices***. Secret Prices are lower rates that aren’t available to everyone and offer up to 50% off thousands of properties in popular destinations every day. With Hotels.com Rewards, you earn a free night for every 10 booked. It’s that simple.

*Average prices paid per night including taxes and fees.
**Free night does not include taxes and fees. See full terms and conditions.
***Secret Prices are available to Hotels.com app users, Hotels.com Rewards members and individuals who unlock Secret Prices on the website by subscribing to Hotels.com by email. Secret Prices will be shown where the “Your Secret Price” banner is displayed on your search results. Available on selected hotels and selected dates only. Subject to full terms and conditions.

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