Average hotel booking value falls

The average booking value for Australian hotels in nearly every major destination fell this winter, as hotels experience a freeze from both international and domestic travellers, data today released by the world’s leading hotel discovery and price comparison website, HotelsCombined, has revealed.

Adelaide led the decline, with booking values in the City of Churches down 20%. Perth followed with a drop of 17%, Brisbane lowered 13% and Melbourne and Canberra both experienced an 11% decrease.
HotelsCombined spokesperson Kristen McKenzie said, “The drop can be blamed on Australian hotels’ higher cost when compared to other international destinations; our data shows that travellers are either booking cheaper hotels or booking shorter stays within Australia.”

HotelsCombined’s data shows that Aussie travellers are continually travelling less and less to Australian regional destinations – out of the top 100 most popular destinations for Australian travellers, 24 Aussie destinations fell off the list in the winter of 2013 when compared to the winter of 2012. As a result, Australian average hotel prices are steadily decreasing though they still remain relatively high when compared to those of other countries. And while South East Asia destinations like Bali remained popular holiday spots for Australians, destinations across the US and Europe steadily climbed up the top 100 list to occupy significantly higher positions.

Internationally, Japan’s booking value dropped significantly, as well as Russia’s and many European destinations.

“Despite it being Japan’s high season, its recent natural disasters mean travellers are staying away. Russia’s decline is interesting because, most destinations experience peaked interest from travellers in the lead up to the Olympics. And Cairo was one of the only North African cities to experience a sharp decline in booking value – this comes as no surprise due to the unrest the city has recently experienced,” said Ms McKenzie.

“The UK experienced a decline when compared to 2012, but that’s because values were abnormally high last year due to the increased tourism around the London Olympics. Conversely, always popular European destinations Croatia, Spain and France each bucked the trend of their neighbouring countries, experiencing higher booking values.”

Despite the unrest in the Middle East, Mecca posted the world’s highest average booking value at $1063.51 USD this winter as Muslims continue to travel their pilgrimage.

The least expensive destinations for Aussies were all overseas and the cheapest were Ho Ch Minh City, Pattaya and Manila.

In winter, the most expensive Australian destination was Thredbo, with an average nightly rate of $419.44 closely followed by the Great Barrier Reef with an average nightly rate of $343.55. The least expensive destination was Alice Springs at an average nightly rate of $108.97.

Melbourne remains the top destination for Australians in winter, with Sydney coming in second. Interestingly, summer destination data released by HotelsCombined earlier this year showed the opposite. The average nightly rate in Melbourne dropped 3%, while Sydney stayed relatively stable with a 1% rise in price.

The biggest price spike in average nightly rate overall for Aussies was seen in Christchurch, New Zealand with a growth of 71% from $100.52 to $188.99, showing that the city is rebounding from the earthquake. The biggest decrease in average nightly rate was seen in Katoomba, NSW, with a fall of 43% from $312.68 to $179.12; interestingly, Katoomba also experienced one of the largest price decreases last summer as well.

DestinationAverage hotel booking value (US$)Average hotel booking value (AU$)Average night stayAverage star rating
SydneyFell 5% from
$362.16 to $343.93
Rose 3% from
$355.30 to $364.51
Fell from
2.29 to 2.09
Fell slightly from
3.85 to 3.83


Fell 11% from
$372.24 to $331.05
Fell 4% from
$365.78 to $351.27
Fell from
2.41 to 2.15
Remained at 3.88
BrisbaneFell 13% from
$344.20 to $298
Fell 7% from
$339.30 to $316.75
Fell from
2.13 to 1.99
Fell from
3.8 to 3.77
PerthFell 17% from
$396.90 to $329.75
Fell 10% from
$391.73 to $340.77
Fell from
2.21 to 2.16
Rose from
3.5 to 3.7
AdelaideFell 20% from
$290.17 to $233.06
Fell 13% from
$285.93 to $248.07
Fell from
2.21 to 1.99
Remained at 3.9
CairnsFell 7% from
$404.26 to $377.35
Fell 1% from
$398.89 to $395.48
Rose from
3.09 to 3.24
Fell from
3.86 to 3.79
CanberraFell 11% from
$313.54 to $277.66
Fell 5% from
$310.01 to $296.00
Fell from
1.78 to 1.77
Rose from
3.77 to 3.8
DarwinFell 7% from
$567.68 to $527.72
Fell 1% from
$561.27 to $556.63
Fell from
2.6 to 2.5
Fell from
3.79 to 3.72

 The HotelsCombined Hotel Trends Index is the most comprehensive benchmark available, incorporating data from 100s of top travel and hotel websites including, Best Western Hotels, and HotelClub.

This data does not incorporate hotel occupancy, cancellations or hotel upgrades. The data compares the months of June, July and August 2012 to the same period in 2013.

Meanwhile HotelsCombined announced a new partnership with app-based travel planner Desti, to power the new travel planner’s metasearch and hotel comparison functionality.

Desti, an all-in-one travel app which launched earlier this year in the US, accesses HotelsCombined’s technology to extract live rates and availability for hotels. The information, along with review data, is displayed through the Desti app and is accessible for users to browse, click through and book.

The association marks the latest in a series of partnerships for Australian owned and operated HotelsCombined which stretch across the United States, Asia Pacific and Europe. Other recent partners include a supplier agreement with, Indonesia’s leading travel reservation centre, and an affiliate partnership with Breakaway, an Australian media company which runs specialist cycling and Tour De France site

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