The 2009 six month hotel survey by Hogg Robinson Group shows up a mixed bag of results for the hotel industry and business travel.
To start with, Moscow retains pole position as the world’s costliest city for business travelers, even though the year on year rate declined by a whopping 14%.
Abu Dhabi – the only city in the survey to have achieved average rate growth of 5% in real terms when measured in local currency – came in second.
The remaining slots in the top 10 list are filled by Paris, New York City, Milan, Geneva, Hong Kong, Dubai, Copenhagen and Rome.
The results show that corporates are travelling smarter as they look to control travel costs and maximise their return on travel expenditure.
Margaret Bowler, Director of Global Hotel Relations at HRG, says that ”The shift in business practices has been substantial and those that adapt well can reap benefits from the unusual trading environment. Hotels are adopting sensible pricing in order to maintain current occupancy levels. At HRG, we advise clients to take advantage of the current conditions and use these to consolidate travel policies and negotiate better rates.”
Interestingly, though, the survey found that the high-end market is holding up well, with 5-star hotels clocking in the highest average rate increase of 7.7%, suggesting that hoteliers are holding out for rates at the expense of lower occupancy levels.
HRG’s data also suggests that the budget sector is feeling the heat from 3 and 4 star hotels. It has been squeezed due to its inability to respond more rapidly and at short notice in terms of flexible pricing to offer more competitive rates to suit market needs.
(Photo credit – yeowatzup)