STR August 2016 data on chain hotel average room rates for regions across the globe indicate why I have found myself traveling primarily in Eastern Europe in 2016. This region has the lowest hotel rates at $74.13 average daily rate for the period August 2015 to August 2016 compared to an average in the $120s for other regions of Europe and North America.
Eastern Europe defined for purposes of this data are the countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are categorized with Northern Europe and help lower the average rates for that region, which also includes UK, Ireland, Scandinavia and Iceland. In terms of room rates, the Baltic countries align more closely with Eastern Europe rates, as do several of the countries listed with Southern Europe, like Albania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia.
While hotels in Northern, Southern and Western Europe saw stagnant occupancy growth and even a 1.0% decline in occupancy for Western Europe, the picture in Eastern Europe is a scene of vibrant hotel industry growth. Occupancy in Eastern Europe was far lower than other regions of Europe in August 2015 at 59.8% compared to 69.7% for Europe as a whole. In August 2016 there was big occupancy growth in Eastern Europe to 63.0% while the other regions of Europe mostly experienced a decline in occupancy during the previous year. Eastern Europe also saw the highest room rate growth in Europe at 8.2% from $68.50 to $74.13 compared to 2.0% higher rates for Europe as a whole from $118.29 to $120.60.
The only other regions of the globe with average daily room rates under $100 are South America ($94.20), North Africa ($99.94) and Northeastern Asia ($89.79) – China, Japan, Korea and low rates in Northeastern Asia are primarily influenced by hotel rates in China.
Most Expensive Regions for Hotel Travel
Want to spend a lot for your hotel stay? Go to the Caribbean where average daily rate is $228.07. Good news is the average daily rate dropped over the past year by 2.8% as occupancy dropped by 3.6% in Caribbean hotels.
Middle East hotels have the second highest regional room rates at $172.45, however, this region also had the largest room rate decline over the past year dropping 7.2% from $185.76 in 2015. It is these rate declines in high end markets that have the hotel industry forecasting a change in 2017 and cessation of the seven year run on hotel room rate increases across the globe.
With average hotel rates in Europe, North America and Australia/New Zealand in the $120 to $130 range across all chain hotels, the deals in Eastern Europe are ones I find attractive for paid stays and reward nights using hotel points. Those low average room rates also correlate well with low reward night rates in many hotel loyalty programs. The global dynamic with rising rates and occupancy for hotels in Eastern Europe indicates this will be an area with expanded hotel chain properties over the next few years as the hotel industry developers follow the money.
I have always sought out hotel value as a frequent guest in my travels. Eastern Europe is the region where I am finding great travel value in 2016 and I plan to continue my travels focusing on this region in 2017.