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Hotels drop prices as searches to US holiday destinations plummet

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27/02/2017
British holidaymakers appear to have fallen out of love with the US, meaning cheaper hotel prices for bargain-hunters.

Searches for flights to key American destinations have fallen off a cliff in the past 12 months, according to search engine Kayak.co.uk.

Compared to last year, searches are down by 58% to Tampa, 58% to Orlando and 52% to Miami. Searches for San Diego are down 43%, Las Vegas is down 36% and Los Angeles is down 32%.

While flight prices are holding firm for now for all US destinations, hoteliers appear to be reacting more quickly.

Average prices for hotel rooms in Vegas are down on average 39%, in San Francisco down 34% and even New York has seen hotel prices fall by 32%, Kayak said.

European bargains

The search engine also found prices to many key European destinations, including Spanish and Portuguese resorts, have dropped significantly for holidays this summer.

Compared to last summer, average prices to the party island of Ibiza have fallen by 32%, despite it being the fifth most searched-for world-wide destination by Brits.

Flight prices to Faro in Portugal have fallen by a fifth (20%), but the biggest flight price drops in Europe are to Pula in Croatia, which have fallen by 43%. The seaside city has benefitted from an increase in airline routes, which has brought prices down.

Many perennially popular resorts have also seen their prices slashed. Prices for flights to Alicante and Mallorca are both down 19%, while Malaga has seen average prices for flights fall by 17%.

Long-haul trips

Many worldwide destinations have also seen significant price reductions. The bargain of the summer – according to Kayak – is Mexico, with flights to Mexico City down on average 39%, or £289 cheaper than last year.

Another Western Hemisphere bargain is Rio de Janeiro. The famous city was very popular in 2016 thanks to the international sporting events, but interest from Brits in 2017 has waned significantly, with searches down 63%. This is leading to reduced prices, with savings this summer of 23% (-£173).

Looking Eastwards, Singapore is the Asian bargain of the summer. The popularity of the city-state is increasing year-on-year with Brits, but thanks to increasing numbers of flights, prices are falling and are 20% less (-£108) in summer 2017 compared to 2016.

And for those who have been eyeing up a trip to New Zealand, now could be the time. Prices have fallen by 22%, which translates to a saving of £212.

Suzanne Perry, travel expert at KAYAK, said: “With so many factors impacting holiday prices, from demand to the number of airline routes, year-on-year analysis always shows interesting trends.

“The news overall for Brits is good – many of the most popular European destinations in Spain, Portugal and Eastern Europe have seen nice falls in prices which will benefit many travellers. And factors are combining to lead to some massive price drops in more far-flung locations like Singapore, Brazil and Mexico – meaning that it could be the time to go for those who have been interested in these destinations for a while.

“However, the story of the summer is the fall of interest in the States. We noted that searches to the USA dropped after the new president came to office – but it seems like this is a longer-term trend. The US has historically been one of the most popular countries for Brits, but searches to popular destinations falling by over half in one year is a massive shift. With hotel prices also falling significantly, it may only be a matter of time before airlines follow suit. It will be interesting to see if it can bounce back in 2018.”

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