Skift Take

Higher gas prices don't seem to be worrying travelers and it looks like summer travel will do well on its important first seasonal test as hotel stays this Memorial Day shape up to be more expensive than last year.

While gas prices are lower this Memorial Day weekend than in many previous years, hotel stays across the U.S. will come with higher price tags than last year. data show 21 of the top 25 destinations booked by U.S. travelers for hotel stays this upcoming weekend will see their average daily rates increase year-over-year, some significantly. For example, Orlando, Florida’s average daily rate increased nearly 18% from last Memorial Day, $94 to $110.85 this year, while Washington D.C and Los Angeles’ average daily rates increased 10.6% and 8.8% year-over-year, respectively.

Some of the cities with the highest year-over-year increases, such as San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., also have the highest rates for this weekend.

These increases align with the overall rise in average daily rates this year. New York City has the country’s highest rate this weekend ($219.56) while Phoenix, Arizona, with stays averaging $96 per night, is among the cities with the best deals this weekend.

Given Memorial Day’s reputation as a drive holiday, conventional wisdom says lower gas prices should offset travelers’ hesitations towards paying a higher rate for hotels, but this week AAA announced the national average for a gallon of gas ($2.71) has increased 32 of the past 34 days. Though gas prices have risen in recent months, travelers will still pay about 94 cents less for gas than last Memorial Day, the lowest average for this date since 2009.

It’s worth highlighting four cities in California rank in the top ten with the highest average daily rate increases and Texas has two cities in this ranking.

Top 10 U.S. Cities With Highest Hotel Average Daily Rate Increases for Memorial Day 2015 vs. 2014

Rank City 2015 Avg. Daily Rate 2014 Avg. Daily Rate % Increase YOY
1 Orlando $110.85 $94 17.90%
2 Dallas $95.34 $82 16.20%
3 Nashville $148.10 $131 13%
4 Houston $113.88 $101 12.70%
5 San Francisco $178.22 $161 10.70%
6 Washington, D.C. $153.82 $139 10.60%
7 St. Catharines-Niagara Falls, Ontario $134.27 $120 11.80%
8 Orange County, California $117.54 $107 9.80%
9 Los Angeles $140.43 $129 8.80%
10 San Diego $154.49 $142 8.80%

Top U.S. Destinations With Largest Decreases in Hotel Average Daily Rates for Memorial Day 2015 vs. 2014

Rank City 2015 Avg. Daily Rate % Decrease YOY
1 Detroit $129 -16.10%
2 Virginia Beach $125 -12.40%
3 Fort Lauderdale $108 -12%
4 Reno, Nevada $116 -7.40%
5 Phoenix $96 -5.50%


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Tags: memorial day, priceline

Photo credit: Orlando hotels' average daily rates saw the largest increases for Memorial Day stays this year compared to 2014. Pictured here is the Hilton Orlando. Hilton Worldwide

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