Australian seaside destinations experienced the steepest accommodation price rises for both domestic and international travellers in 2018, new research has revealed.
According to Hotels.com’s latest Hotel Price Index (HPI), the Whitsunday Islands was the most expensive destination for international travellers of the top 20 most popular destinations last year, with an average price of $248 per night.
The islands also topped the list for highest price rises for international travellers, with a 10 per cent increase on prices from the previous year.
Sydney recorded the second-highest average price per night at $237 – a two per cent increase on 2017 – and retained its place as the most popular tourist destination for international travellers.
Fellow seaside destinations Port Douglas (up seven per cent to $219 per night), the Sunshine Coast (up seven per cent to $219 per night) and Byron Bay (down two per cent to $203 per night) came in at third, fourth and fifth respectively.
Townsville, Alice Springs and Darwin reported the lowest accommodation prices for international travellers in 2018, as well as the largest drops in prices.
Prices in Townsville averaged $121 per night – a two decline on the previous year – while Alice Springs sat at $125 off the back of a one per cent decline. Prices in Darwin took a two per cent hit down to $130.
Globally, the HPI found that average accommodation prices across the world rose to their highest point in more than a decade – up three per cent in 2018.
For domestic travellers, the top 20 Aussie destinations rose one per cent on the previous year, with an average price per night of $158. A gap of $105 marked the difference between the highest and lowest prices paid by Aussies in the top 20 destinations.
Highest prices paid by Aussies were found in Byron Bay ($234), Port Douglas ($232) and the Whitsunday Islands ($229).
Price rises were steepest in Newcastle (up eight per cent to $172), followed by Port Douglas (up seven per cent to $232), and the Whitsunday Islands (up six per cent).
In contrast, Australians paid the least in Albury ($129), Townsville ($130) and Darwin ($138). Darwin experienced the largest decline in prices overall compared to 2017, falling eight per cent; while Sydney experienced a decline of three per cent on 2017, with an average price of $205.
Despite its declining prices, Albury managed to move up two places in the popularity rankings for Aussies, to sit at number 20. Hervey Bay also moved up two places to 18th place, with both being the largest ladder climbers of the top 20.
Cairns was the only faller of the top 20, moving down from ninth place to 10th.