Capri is hot, but shows huge rate drops in cities worldwide

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The Independent Travel

The most expensive average hotel rates may be found on the Italian island of Capri, but the world's hotel rates were down by an average of 17 percent over the first half of 2009, according to the Hotel Price Index, issued October 21.

"Not since 2001, in the aftermath of 9/11 [terrorist attacks in the US], has there been such a collapse - surely the word is justified - in global hotel prices," began the report from the online travel agency.

London and Zurich have dropped out of the top 10 list of most expensive destinations, with also Tokyo dropping conspicuously. Despite huge price cuts, Moscow and St. Petersburg are still among the priciest cities.

With the exception of the Caribbean, hotel prices in every major region experienced their greatest drops since the Hotel Price Index's inception in 2004. Hotels in Latin America dropped the most (18 percent), followed by North American hotels (17 percent) and then Europe (16 percent).

According to the report, the Great Recession has made some significant alterations in the flow of tourism. Due to the drop in value of the pound, demand from continental Europe has actually increased to the UK this year, while the drop of the dollar has led US travellers to travel beyond their borders even less.

As the report concludes, it is not just hotel prices that have been reduced, but prices for all goods and services across the travel industry. If you can afford it, it's a good time to be a traveller. Hotel Price Index - Most Expensive Cities

Rank City Average Room Price ($) from Jan.-June 2009 % Change from Jan.-June 2008
1 Capri 279 +12
2 Abu Dhabi 273 -9
3 Geneva 243 -28
4 Moscow 218 -52
5 Venice 218 -20
6 Cannes, France
208 -20
7 New York City 196 -30
8 Dubrovnik, Croatia 193 -20
9 Dubai 192 -26
10 Paris 187 -18
11 Rio de Janeiro 185 +11
12 Rome 183 -21
13 St. Petersburg 183 -29
14 Zurich 181 -21
15 Copenhagen 181 -24
16 London 176 -25
17 Jerusalem 175


18 Milan 173 -22
19 Cancun 172 -21
20 Kyoto 168 -17

Rates are based on US dollar prices paid by US travelers from the between January and June 2009, compared with the same period a year before.