SYDNEY, Australia – The Easter holiday may be over for 2011, but its impact on the accommodation industry is still going strong.
In 2010, the Easter holiday started in the earlier half of April, this year it was closer to the end. This date change, although small, shifted the holiday closer towards summer (northern hemisphere), encouraging longer bookings by travelers taking advantage of time off. This was evident in Cordoba, Spain, where Holy Week tourism income was up 6% year-on-year and hotel occupancy was at 79%, according to the local tourism authority.
Yury Glikin, HotelsCombined.com Director of Business Development, commented, “The HotelsCombined.com Price Index™ continues to produce interesting statistics. In this case, the small date shift of Easter caused a spike in revenue for hoteliers, something that might have been overlooked in the past. Our Hotel Price Index shows that bookings were actually longer than the previous year and spilled over in to May, driving up the year-on-year average room rate by 93.66%.”
Biggest Price Falls in May 2011 (Month-On-Month)
The end of the dry season in Male, Maldives, will drive room rates down by 35.67% in May. Although storms and rain are more likely, surfing and diving on the western side continue to be good throughout May.
The popular Thai destination Koh Chang will see a rate drop (down 27.72%) in May as the region enters the wet season, in addition to falling year-on-year rates. It is difficult to determine just one factor that has impacted demand; it appears that the recent earthquake, flood and border dispute together have influenced travelers to look elsewhere, even though Koh Chang was unaffected by these issues.
Although the flooding has now subsided in Krabi, Thailand – room rates are down 25.48% in May and will take time to recover. The Tourism Council of Thailand has estimated 2.5 billion Baht in tourism revenue (US $83 million) has been lost. Many destinations in the area were untouched by the disaster and tourists are being encouraged back in to the region.
Biggest Price Falls in May 2011 (Year-On-Year)
Both Koh Chang, Thailand and Siem Reap, Cambodia are the highest price falls this May, down 23.81% and 19.41% respectively year-on-year. Local tourism bodies are still projecting higher tourist arrival numbers this year, signifying these low rates may not last long.
For the second month in a row, Beirut is one of the biggest price drops year-on-year. The Lebanese capital city will see room rates drop by 18.02%. According to the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism, the decline in room rates correlates with a drop in international arrivals in to Rafik Hariri International Airport. As with past months, tourism demand is being directly affected by instability in the region.
Biggest Price Rises in May 2011 (Year-On-Year)
With room rates up a staggering 93.66%, the popular Holy Week destination of Cordoba, Spain is by far our largest gain for May year-on-year. As Holy Week was closer to the end of April this year, tourists are extending their holiday into May – driving up the average nightly rate. We expect these inflated room rates to normalize towards the end of the month.
Ice-hockey fans will need no introduction to the IIHF World Championship, being held this May in Bratislava, Slovakia. With sold-out roaring crowds at Orange Arena, hotel prices are up 61.56% year-on-year.
The city of Kemer, Turkey, will see hotel room rates rise 42.47% in May year-on-year. This unprecedented rate increase may be related to the upsurge of the destination’s popularity in recent times, as noted at the Moscow International Travel and Tourism Exhibition where the city picked up “The Best Tourism Destination” award.