Economic Growth – Travel Industry Recovery Status Reported In New Hotel Price Index

The travel industry continues slow recovery as rates rise 2% Today, hotels.com®, the leading provider of lodging worldwide, released its Hotel Price Index (HPI™), noting a theme of recovery in the travel industry as global hotel rates rose 2% in 2010. Despite the increase year-over-year, travel deals and value can still be found in America's most popular cities as well as the new global up-and-coming destinations. Among the good news, hotels.com's HPI found higher occupancy levels for major business centers like London, Paris, Singapore, and New York due to the return of business travel. Las Vegas also benefitted, as convention business returned to the desert. International arrivals grew over 5% in 2010 and occupancy in luxury properties in the U.S. is running between ten and fifteen points higher than in the lower star categories. "We are encouraged by this continued growth in business and consumer travel throughout the industry," said Victor Owens, vice president of marketing North America for hotels.com. "Despite the rise of hotel rates globally, hotels.com is still able to offer its customers great deals, due in part to the increase of new hotels around the world. For example, attractive deals can be found in London as it prepares for the tremendous number of visitors arriving for the 2012 Olympics." Key Findings and Report Highlights:
  • Las Vegas still holds the crown as American's #1 favorite domestic city to visit in 2010 followed byNew York, Orlando, Chicago, and San Francisco while the city of Pittsburgh is slowly moving up to be one of the top 50 cities Americans love to visit.
  • Americans continue to flock to London, Paris, and Rome but Asian cities including Tokyo,Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, and Manila are quickly becoming new favorites in 2010.
  • Overseas travelers are still enchanted with New York, Las Vegas, and Orlando, making them the top three most-visited cities, but others have been charmed by the laid-back luxury of Honolulu.  This city moves up to become the 7th most-visited city in 2010 – three spots up from 2009.
  • Who has the deepest pockets? Americans did not skimp on accommodations when visiting overseas but were a bit more frugal when finding rooms close to home. The average price paid per room overseas was $160, $46 less than what they would have paid for a hotel in the U.S.!
  • Best Four-Star Deals at a Steal: Authentic experiences meet affordable luxury. Travelers lounged in splendor for $100 a night when staying in Tallinn, Bangkok, and Budapest.
  • Demand for Luxury: Top U.S. cities that saw significant year-over-year increases at five-star properties in 2010 were: Boston (21%), Chicago (20%), Miami (10%), San Francisco (22%), andWashington (16%).
  • Big Easy's Comeback: New Orleans has been recovering steadily since Hurricane Katrina. Rooms were up 12% in 2010 compared to 2009, indicating a healthy comeback for the hotel industry.
  • The Highs and Lows of hotels.com Hotel Price Index: Bora Bora in French Polynesia averaged at$605 room rates, the most expensive in 2010, while Primm offers the cheapest rooms at $34 a night.
About the HPI™ The hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI™), which began in 2004, is a regular survey of hotel prices in major city destinations (over 18,300 locations) across the globe. The HPI is based on bookings made on hotels.com and prices shown are those actually paid by customers (rather than advertised rates) in 2010 versus 2009. The HPI is respected as the definitive report on hotel prices around the world and is increasingly used as a reference tool by media, analysts, tourism bodies and academics. About hotels.com Hotels.com® is a leading provider of lodging worldwide, offering more than 130,000 properties in over 60 countries from national chain hotels and all-inclusive resorts to local favorites and bed & breakfasts. Hotels.com is the smarter way to book travel by offering welcomerewards®, an industry leading loyalty rewards program; the real opinions of other travelers captured in over 1.5 million Guest Reviews and; a Price Match Guarantee, so that those booking with hotels.com can be assured they are getting the best deal, either online or by speaking directly to a travel expert at 1-800-2-HOTELS 24 hours a day. For more information, please visit hotels.com. Hotels.com is an operating company of Expedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE). Hotels.com, Hotel Price Index, HPI and the hotels.com logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of hotels.com, LP. Other logos or products and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners © 2011 hotels.com, LP. All rights reserved. CST # 2083949-50 CONTACT: Helen Ames, Ruder Finn for hotels.com, +1-212-715-1646, amesh@ruderfinn.com, or Taylor L. Cole, APR, hotels.com North America, +1-469-335-8442

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