Internet searches for Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain surge, says Hotels.com
Friday 7, October 2011
Interest in crisis-hit Eurozone countries has soared from budget-conscious British travellers hunting for a bargain break, according to new figures.
Hotels.com has seen internet searches for five of the most indebted countries increase dramatically in the period from June 1 to September 28.
The leading online travel retailer says searches for hotels in Spainwere up 85%, Portugal up 80%, Greece up 78%, Italy up 72% and Ireland up 50% on the same period in 2010.
The capital cities of those countries also saw substantial jumps with searches for Madrid up 67%, Lisbon 61%, Rome 41%, Athens 37% and Dublin 8%.
Alison Couper of Hotels.com said: “There areundoubtedly some good deals on hotel rooms at the moment and this applies tothe Eurozone as much as anywhere else.
“Hoteliers in some of the affected countries have cut their room rates to attract visitors because demand has slumped as domestic consumers tighten their belts. It could well be that savvy UK travellers are shopping around and targeting those destinations affected by the Euro crisis in the hope of bagging a bargain.”
Hotels.com’s latest Hotel Price Index – a global report tracking the prices paid by guests in the first six months of the year – revealed that the average room rate in Athens fell by 15% to £80 and by 3% in Lisbon to £79. Dublin appeared to buck this downward trend with a 7% rise to £73, helped by the high-profile visits of the Queen and Barack Obama in May as well as thestabilisation of prices which had fallen 35%, the heaviest slump in Europe,over the past three years.
There was a 4% drop in Greece generally to £96 and a 1% fall in Portugal to £81 although prices rallied in Italy and Spain – up 5% and 3% to £113 and £83 respectively – as travellers switched their holiday plans away from the North African troublespots of Egypt and Tunisia.
Couper commented: “A range of factors affect the popularity and price of hotel destinations, including political unrest, natural disasters and economic turmoil.
“There seems no doubt that the debt upheaval besetting parts of the Eurozone has played, and will continue to play, a significant part in influencing prices as hoteliers discount room rates in an attempt to attract both domestic and overseas visitors.
“This in turn appears to be generating interest from Britons looking for a good deal on the Continent.”
The Hotels.com HPI tracks the real prices paid per hotel room (rather than advertised rates) for 125,000 properties across more than 19,000 locations around the world. The latest HPI looks at prices in the first half of 2011 compared to those in the first half of 2010.
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