Skift Take

Traveling to Brazil is a win-win for business travelers where they can find an emerging economy with relatively low room rates; a trend that will fade in the coming four years as capacity grows in preparation for the World Cup and Olympics.

The list of cities with the most expensive hotel rooms in 2012 is led by Moscow, Lagos, and New York City. Moscow takes the title for the world’s most expensive hotel rooms for the ninth year in a row after a 4 percent increase last year. Room rates around the world increased an average of 1.4 percent in 2012, according to the annual hotel survey from HRG. Although the costs are increasing, the trends are no longer perceived along regional or even national borders. Individual cities are gaining more importance, and more patterns are emerging between similar cities than within countries or continents.

Business hubs

Major financial centers including New York, London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo continue to bounce back as their economies improve, while the global slowdown continues to keep rates low throughout India and the Middle East. The exception to that is Dubai where rates increased two percent in 2012. All North American cities reported positive increases with the exception of a 14 percent drop in Washington, D.C. This was surprising considering it was an election year.

Rates soar in South America

The top two highest rate increases occurred in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo where rates increased 19 percent and 16 percent, respectively. However, international business travelers felt little impact due to the continent’s weak exchange range.

Largest rate increases

City Average Room Rate 2012 Average Room Rate 2011 Variance
Rio de Janeiro BRL 622.51 BRL 520.98 19%
Sao Paulo BRL 496.44 BRL 428.62 16%
Tokyo JPY 23,660.15 JPY 21293.71 11%
San Francisco USD 322.39 USD 274.98 10%
Mexico City MXN 2168.17 MXN 1985.87 9%

There’s been a surge in business travelers arriving in Brazilian cities looking to take advance of the emerging economy, but a lack of high-end hotels and capacity are driving prices up. It’s been ten years since a new luxury hotel to opened in Sao Paulo.

Hotels across Latin America have shown the strongest percentage rate increase over the past 12 months, as part of a long-term upwards trend that’s showing no signs of slowing down. Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Mexico City are becoming important destinations for business travellers. Local hotels are struggling to address capacity issues, pushing local rates up, but we expect the World Cup and Olympics to bring more development to Brazil.

The full report is below.

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Tags: moscow

Photo credit: People gather in the Russian capital Moscow near the city's city hall, or duma. Stanislav Stankovic / Flickr

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