Americans paid an average of $137 per night for hotel accommodations in the U.S. during the first six months of 2014 – an increase of five percent compared to the same period in 2013 – according to the latest data from the biannual Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI).
The increase represents the second-highest growth rate for a half-year period over the past decade and the index reached 118 – just one point shy of the highest half-yearly index ever recorded for North America.
The HPI is a regular report on hotel prices paid in major destinations across the world. It is based on bookings made on Hotels.com sites and prices shown are those actually paid by customers per room per night, including taxes and fees, rather than advertised rates.
Of the 50 Most Popular Domestic Cities for Americans, 47 saw price increases in the first half of 2014, with Nashville, Tenn. experiencing the largest increase. The average cost of a night in the Music City increased 20 percent to $164 per night, likely in part due to increased demand for numerous events such as the CMA Music Festival.
Other cities to see a significant price increase were the popular West Coast destinations of San Francisco (#7) and Seattle (#19), which saw prices rise by 12 percent to $208 and $180 per night, respectively.
Only three cities on the Top 50 list experienced a slight price decrease of one percent – Washington, D.C. ($164 per night), Salt Lake City ($104 per night) and Reno, Nev. ($83 per night). Reno remained the most affordable Top 50 destination, but was also joined by Albuquerque, N.M. ($89 per night), Pigeon Forge, Tenn. ($95 per night), and Jacksonville, Fla. ($96 per night) as popular cities where Americans paid less than $100 per night.
While the top 20 most-visited U.S. cities remained unchanged for American travelers, a number of Mountain West and Midwest destinations surged in popularity in the first half of the year.
Making the biggest jump was Albuquerque, which moved ahead of six cities to become the 41st most popular destination. Salt Lake City rose in popularity as well, overtaking five cities to become the 34th most visited U.S. destination domestically.
Several major Midwestern cities rose in the popularity rankings while maintaining average hotel rates below the U.S. average. Detroit ($118 per night) moved up from the 32nd to the 28th spot on the Top 50 list, making it the region’s second most popular destination after Chicago. Indianapolis, Ind. ($128 per night) and Kansas City, Mo. ($114 per night) each moved up three spots to become the 30th and 32nd most popular cities, respectively.
In the South, Charlotte, N.C. ($114 per night) continued to attract more visitors, becoming the 27th most popular U.S. city after sitting in the 31st spot last year and in 34th in the first half of 2012.
More U.S. travelers also flocked to Savannah, Ga. (#40; $134 per night) and Virginia Beach, Va. (#45; $155 per night) in the first half of 2014, while Memphis, Tenn. ($117 per night) was a newcomer to the list at #48.
Hotels.com is a leading online accommodation booking website.