Americans paid an average of $137 per night for hotel accommodations in the U.S. during 2014 – an increase of 5 percent compared to 2013. The new findings from the biannual Hotels.com® Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®) support a positive outlook on the U.S. travel industry, as price increases were felt across most of the 50 most popular domestic destinations.
“While U.S. hotel prices exceeded the global increase of three percent, travelers were not deterred from exploring top destinations and up-and-coming alike,” said Neha Parikh, vice president and general manager, Hotels.com North America. “Growing consumer confidence and lower gas prices contributed to a number of U.S. destinations reporting record visitor numbers in 2014.”
Prices on the Rise
New York was the most expensive among the Top 50 Domestic Destinations with an average price paid of $271 – a slight increase of 1 percent. Even with the Big Apple serving up the highest average price paid by American travelers, high occupancy levels kept a reign on more significant increases. Honolulu was the second most expensive U.S. city, as the average price rose 6 percent to $220, but that didn’t stop a reported 1.2 percent increase in visitor arrivals.1
Nashville, the 21st most popular domestic destination, experienced the largest price change among top destinations as travelers paid an average of $164, a 15 percent increase in a year that saw the highest-ever tourism numbers.2 The average rate in Seattle rose 12 percent to $183, as the city surpassed New Orleans and Lake Buena Vista, Fla. to become the sixth most expensive among Top 50 Domestic Destinations. Denver experienced an 11 percent average price increase ($136) as Colorado hotels also reported a record number of guests.3
Domestic Value Destinations
While the U.S. experienced a rise in hotel prices nationally, more than half (26) of the Top 50 Domestic Destinations remained under the national average price paid of $137. Four top destinations remained under the $100 mark, including 29th ranked Reno, which was the most affordable Top 50 destination in 2014 as the average price remained at $83 per night. Not simply a casino destination, Reno has one of the country’s top whitewater kayak parks and is close to Tahoe’s ski resorts allowing for year round entertainment. Albuquerque, N.M., which continued to reap the benefits of being a popular TV show setting, had an average price paid of $89 as it became the 42nd most popular domestic destination. Jacksonville, Fla. (#38) and Pigeon Forge, Tenn. (#49) also had affordable average rates of $95 and $97 per night, respectively.
More than one-fourth of the Top 50 Domestic Destinations saw price increases below the national average of 5 percent. Several East Coast destinations remained relatively flat with increases under 2 percent, including New York ($271,) Washington, DC ($160) and Philadelphia ($151).
Las Vegas – the country’s most popular domestic destination – had the most affordable five-star hotel rates among top destinations ($254), while Boston ($574) and New York ($536) were the most expensive. Travelers paid less for a four-star hotel in Las Vegas ($132) than they did for a one-star hotel in New York ($140) or Seattle ($159) in 2014. The best three-star values were also found in Las Vegas ($83), which was followed by Orlando ($111) and San Antonio ($122).