by Michael J. Shapiro and Cheryl-Anne Sturken | March 04, 2015
The average price that travelers paid for a hotel room around the globe increased by 3 percent in 2014, according to the latest Hotel Price Index report, marking five years of steady rate increases. Of the six regions tracked, North America led the way with a 5 percent increase over 2013, followed by the Caribbean, which saw prices rise by 4 percent, its biggest gain to date. Europe and the Middle East also saw a 4 percent increase. In Asia, however, the price paid for a hotel room fell by 2 percent, while in Latin America it increased by 2 percent. According to the report, more than one billion people traveled abroad in 2014, an increase of 5 percent over 2013. The Hotel Price Index is based on bookings made on and includes prices paid for rooms, including taxes and fees, rather than advertised rates.

Strong average daily rate growth continues to propel hotel performance in North America for the first quarter of 2015, according to the February 2015 TravelClick North American Hospitality Review. Based on group sales commitments and individual reservations on the books in 25 major North American markets for stays from February 2015 through January 2016, first-quarter average daily rate is up by 4.3 percent year-over-year. Combined with a 1.2 percent uptick in occupancy, revenue per available room for the first quarter is up by 5.6 percent. "As travelers deal with the deep freeze of the winter months, hoteliers come to rely on ADR to drive hotel performance and sustain positive RevPAR," noted John Hach, senior vice president, global product management, at TravelClick. Specifically in the group segment, ADR is up by 3 percent year-over-year for the quarter, driving a RevPAR increase of 4.9 percent. "Looking ahead," added Hach, "the pace of group bookings in Q2 shows a decline; however, we are not overly concerned as most market segments remain relatively strong." Looking at the next 12 months, committed group business is up by 1.6 percent over last year at this time, with an ADR increase of 3.4 percent.