The latest Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI) shows a clear rise in booking rates during the current Rugby World Cup, as well as for previous sporting events such as the Grand Prix, Wimbledon and the football World Cup.
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 2011compared to those in the first half of 2010.
Alison Couper of Hotels.com said: “Prestige sporting events are one of the key drivers of hotel prices and can lead to double-digit percentage increases, as many rugby fans are finding at the moment.”
The booking demand for the six-week rugby tournament contributed to a sharp rise with average room rates in the host cities of Wellington up 29 per cent to £73 per night and Auckland up 11 per cent to £68 per night. The overall rate in New Zealand itself also rose 14 per cent to £70.
Hotels.com said the statistics could provide a pointer to what could happen in London before, during and after the 2012 Olympics with some industry insiders already predicting rates could jump as high as 50 per cent.
“What is happening in New Zealand and what happened in South Africa could provide a foretaste for what might occur in London next year,” added Couper. “It is expected that several thousand additional hotel rooms will be available in the city in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics.
“However, despite the extra capacity, we would urge people thinking of coming to the capital next summer to book their accommodation as soon as they can as the demand and prices are likely to soar the closer we get to the event.
“London is always popular with both domestic and foreign travellers but the Games are set to take that popularity to a whole new level.”
The impact of other non-sporting, one-off events on hotel prices could also be seen in the report. Dublin witnessed a seven per cent rise in the average cost of a room to £73, with the visits of the Queen and Barack Obama in May enhancing the city’s profile and appeal. Dusseldorf also saw a 17 per cent rise to £100 after the German city hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in May.