If you've had to pay your weight in gold in hotel bills this year then the silver lining is that you're probably not alone. That's because hotel prices rose globally by four per cent according to the 2012's Hotel Price Index.
The index, created by Hotels.com, reported that travellers, on average, paid more for their hotel rooms during the first six months of 2012 compared to last year. The jump also marks the first time hotel prices have increased since 2007. North America led the pack with a five per cent increase, while Asia followed suit with a four per cent rise.
While global jump spells good news for the hospitality sector, it ultimately means travellers will have to shell out more green instead of say, teeing off on the green at a nearby gold course. However, David Roche, President of Hotels.com, said it's not all bad news for travellers.
"While initially [this increase] may not seem good news for consumers, hotel prices are still only around their 2005 level, representing great value for travellers when both wages and other prices have risen considerably," said Roche.
Despite the price jump, it doesn't mean frugal travellers will be left out in the cold. If anything, they'll be able to soak in the sun particularly, since the three cheapest hotels are located in Southeast Asia. Cambodia and Vietnam both took the title of the cheapest places to stay, according to the index. Prices in Siem Reap in Cambodia's Northwest were as low as $63 a night, while tourists staying in the capital of Hanoi enjoyed rates of $70 per night. Cebu in the Philippines ranked third, even though prices increased slightly to $71 a night.
As for tourists looking for vacation somewhere less temperate, their best bets would be with Winnipeg and Vancouver, since both cities reported price drops for hotels at 11 per cent and five per cent respectively in August according to Hotwire.com, a discount travel site.
So, while hotel prices are at a 2005 level, most Canadians have seen their pocket money grow since that time. Still, the second half of 2012, with increasingly mixed economic signals, "will be interesting to watch," according to Roche -- hopefully giving pause to anybody in a hotel thinking about breaking open a bottle of bubbly from that over-priced mini fridge.