International visitors to UK in 2012 see 4% fall in room rates

23 April 2013 by
International visitors to UK in 2012 see 4% fall in room rates

International visitors to the UK last year benefited from a fall 4% in average hotel prices to just £100 a night, according to the latest Hotel Price Index (HPI).

The report, which compares prices paid for hotel rooms globally in 2012 and 2011, found that travellers from 24 of the 39 countries surveyed paid less for their hotel rooms last year than in the previous 12 months.

However the average paid by visitors from Brazil, Argentina, Hong Kong and Austria remained unchanged, while the Japanese were the only travellers to spend more in 2012, albeit by just 1%.

The biggest spenders were visitors from the oil-rich countries of the Middle East, who paid £172 a night on average, despite paying 3% less than in 2011. Brazil came in second place at £138, level on 2011, while Japan increased to £132.

The Russians were the most generous Europeans at number eight on £122, despite being one of the 11 countries in the report to spend more than 10% less in 2012 with a 14% fall.

The largest fall in average spending on hotel rooms came from the Chinese, down 18% to £121. But China was still listed at number nine. Globally the Chinese overtook the Germans and Americans to become the biggest spenders on international travel last year, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

Chinese travellers spent $102b (£66.9b) on travel abroad last year; a 40% rise on 2011 and almost eight times the country's spend in 2000.

Top UK destinations
London retained its throne as the country's most popular tourist destination with international visitors finding that hotels in the city cost 3% less than in 2011 at £126 per night.

Edinburgh and Manchester ranked at second and third, with hotel rooms costing £101 and £79 respectively. Liverpool ranked fourth at just £78 a night, while Glasgow completed the top five, with the average hotel price in the Scottish city falling by 2% to just £71.

Aberdeen was the only destination to enter the top 10 list for 2012, benefiting from a rise in business travel driven by demand from the buoyant energy sector. Prices grew by 9% to £93, the UK's second highest percentage rise.

The city to see the biggest rise was Belfast, where price rose by 10% to £73. The city was boosted by global interest in the 100 year anniversary of the Titanic's doomed maiden voyage and the opening of the Belfast Titanic museum on the slipways where the boat was built.

"Besides being a great place to visit, the UK also offered great value in 2012, with the average hotel room costing just £100 a night," said Kate Hopcraft of, commenting on the UK's Olympic year.

Top 10 highest spenders on hotels in the UK in 2012 vs. 2011:

RankingCountry/Region20122011% change
1 Middle East £172 £178 -3%
2 Brazil £138 £138 0%
3 Japan £132 £130 1%
4 United States of America £131 £133 -2%
5= Mexico £130 £141 -7%
5= Argentina £130 £130 0%
7 Singapore £123 £129 -4%
8 Russia £122 £142 -14%
9 China £121 £147 -18%
10= South Africa £120 £135 -11%
10= Colombia £120 £124 -3%
10= Norway £120 £121 -1%

Top UK destinations for overseas travellers in 2012:

RankDestination20122011% change
1 London £126 £129 -3%
2 Edinburgh £101 £102 -1%
3 Manchester £79 £79 0%
4 Liverpool £78 £80 -4%
5 Glasgow £71 £73 -2%
6 Birmingham £65 £64 2%
7 Belfast £73 £67 10%
8 Brighton £85 £86 -1%
9 Bristol £74 £74 0%
10 Aberdeen £93 £85 9%
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