News: Tourists warned over 'hotel price rip-off'

Hotel prices around the world rose by an average of 15 per cent during the fourth quarter of 2006, compared with the same period in 2005, according to a new survey from hotels.com...

The website, part of Expedia, tracks the real prices paid across thousands of properties, from bed and breakfast accommodation to five-star hotels.

Rip-off Britain strikes again?

The cost of staying at a hotel in the UK rose by a massive 17 per cent to £98 per night in the last quarter of 2006, compared with the same period in the previous year.

For the second year running, Bath was the most expensive place to stay in the UK, with average room prices up six per cent to £114. London hotel tariffs averaged £107, a jump of 22 per cent.

Edinburgh was the third most expensive city, with prices of £95 per night.  The costliest continental European city was Rome at £94 per night, followed by Copenhagen and Amsterdam, both averaging £93 per room.

Nottingham was one of the few UK cities to report a drop in prices, with rooms costing on average £61, a fall of four per cent on the previous year.

Hotels.com marketing director Patrik Oqvist said: "The UK remained the most expensive country in Europe during 2006, demonstrating the rising popularity of our cities as tourist destinations"

He continued: "While London led the overall rises for the UK, we have also witnessed substantial increases across other key urban areas, reflecting the resurgence of these regional centres".

Similar trend worldwide

Tariffs rose by 11 per cent in the USA and 12 per cent in Asia, while the biggest price rise of 58 per cent was seen in Bangkok. However the average cost of staying in the Thai capital was still only £44 during the quarter.

In the last three months of 2006, Moscow retained its position as the city in which tourists paid the most for a room – an average of £172 per night – despite a three per cent drop on the same period in 2005.

New York and Dubai, at an average of £155 per night and £124 per night respectively were the second and third most expensive destinations.

Shanghai and Bali both featured in the list of bargain destinations, with room prices at just £61 and £63 per night respectively.

New York was the most expensive hotel for a luxury stay during the fourth quarter. Prices in that sector averaged £343, compared with £225 in London, although comparisons with previous quarters were not available.

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