Indians get better deals at hotels abroad than at home
Posted on April 30, 2012
MUMBAI: Frequent travellers will attest to the painful fact that the rupee does not go far outside India.
This rule, however, does not hold true when it comes to booking a hotel room. For Rs 6,000 a night, you can enjoy the comforts of a four-star hotel room at popular tourist destinations like Las Vegas, Guangzhou and Bangkok, but in Mumbai and Delhi it will get you nothing more than three-star accommodation. While hotel ratings are not standardized, there is a marked difference in a four-star accommodation at say on the Vegas strip and a three-star one in Mumbai. Street-smart travellers, for instance, can check themselves into a Vegas four-star complete with celebrity chef restaurants, pools, spas and the best of entertainment options for less than Rs 5,000 a night. Most tourists will have to break the bank to enjoy a similar experience in Mumbai.
A recent survey-conducted across 142,000 properties in more than 19,800 global locations-that tracked the real prices paid per room by customers of a portal that deals with hotel bookings shed light on one of the key expenses in tourism. The survey compared hotel prices in major destinations in the second half of 2011 and the corresponding period in the previous year. “Among the major cities, room rates in Delhi rose by 9% to Rs 5,914 and prices in Mumbai went up by 3% to Rs 6,539,” said the survey released by Hotels.com.
The most expensive hotel rooms were in Kerala though accommodation rates dropped by 9% in one year. Tourists in god’s own country shell out an average of Rs 7,381 per night for a room. Kolkata, which was the second-most expensive destination in 2010, slipped to fourth place after registering the biggest fall in room rates, down 20% to Rs 5,136. Room rates in Goa, the world’s favourite tourist destination, increased by 12%, but with an average price of Rs 4,224 it is still a less expensive option than Kerala, Mumbai and Delhi.
The survey also concluded that hotels in India enjoyed only a modest average rise of 2% in room rates in the second half of 2011 as compared to the corresponding period in 2010.
Most desi tourists travelling within India spend around Rs 4,226 per night on a room, around Rs 2,500 less than what we spend when travelling abroad. According to the survey, Indians parted with an average of Rs 6,789 per night on hotel accommodation abroad. But room rates fell in some foreign countries. “It is a good time for Indian travellers to venture out to countries such as Germany, South Africa, Canada and Japan given the significant fall in hotel room rates in these markets,” said Abhiram Chowdhry, senior marketing director, Asia Pacific, Hotels.com. That said, Indian tourists in the US paid more for rooms in some major cities as the rupee fell in value against the US dollar during the survey period.
The Japanese are the most extravagant tourists spending Rs 8,690 per night for a room when they travel abroad. They are followed by the Swiss who are willing to shell out Rs 8,339 when booking a hotel.
Globally hotel rates rose by 4%, but in the US, it was higher. Hotel room rates in San Francisco, a popular destination with both business and leisure travellers, was up 10% to Rs 8,124, Chicago was up 9% to Rs 5,792 and Los Angeles was up 3% to Rs 6,746. The survey did not specify the star rating for the hotels, but has taken an average of room rates sold on their website.
On the top end of the hotel tariff list is Switzerland. With its currency staying strong, the country experienced a 19% rise in room rates and the average room rate was Rs 10,496 per night, more than double that of the Indian domestic rate. The second slot for high room rates was occupied by the UK, where rates rose 7% and the average per night cost for a hotel room was Rs 8,965. “In Asia, Singapore is the most expensive destination at Rs 8,684, after a 5% rise,” said the survey. The biggest increase in hotel rate in Asia was in Macau, which registered a 49% rise in room rates to bring the average room rate to Rs 8,438.
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