Owen Hembry

Business news editor of the New Zealand Herald

Kiwis flock to Vegas as room prices drop

Las Vegas, behind Sydney and Melbourne, is one of the most popular places for New Zealanders to visit. Photo / Supplied
Las Vegas, behind Sydney and Melbourne, is one of the most popular places for New Zealanders to visit. Photo / Supplied

Las Vegas is the third most popular destination for Kiwis as the high New Zealand dollar and falling prices make some tourist hotspots more affordable.

The Hotels.com Hotel Price Index - a survey of prices in leading destinations - shows the average price per room in Las Vegas dropped 16 per cent to $121 a night compared with the same period last year.

The United States gambling capital was behind Sydney and Melbourne on the list of top destinations for New Zealanders.

Johan Svanstrom, Hotels.com managing director for Asia Pacific, said now was a good time to travel overseas in terms of value for money.

Prices dipped for other favourite destinations in New Zealand dollar terms, including Singapore, Los Angeles and Vancouver.

However, the average price of a room globally increased 3 per cent.

The survey, for January to June, showed New York was the most expensive destination for New Zealanders with an 11 per cent rise to $322 a night because of heavy demand from overseas and domestic travellers.

Italy was the most expensive country for Kiwi travellers averaging $234, while Thailand was the cheapest at $114 a night.

In New Zealand the average room rate increased 8 per cent to $126 after currency fluctuations, with Queenstown the most expensive location at $147 a night, it said.

Rising hotel prices in New Zealand underlined the strength and resilience of the country as a tourist destination despite the impact of the recent natural disasters, Hotels.com said.

Auckland overtook Wellington as the most popular domestic destination for New Zealanders followed by Queenstown, Rotorua and Dunedin, while Christchurch slipped out of the top five.

More informal research into habits and preferences showed more Norwegians chose to sleep naked in their hotel bed than any other nation, closely followed by the British, but the Spanish were the most amorous with 62 per cent passing the time in their rooms making love, the report said.

David Roche, president of Hotels. com said: "This year, for the first time, dramatic political and natural world events, such as the Japanese earthquake and Arab Spring, have caused a pronounced level of hotel price volatility.

"However, despite some exceptional price movements, it is important to highlight that, overall, the picture has been one of gradual recovery with many room rates still on a par with what they were seven years ago, representing great value for the traveller."

The report said London was the most expensive European destination for New Zealanders at $262, with events such as the Wimbledon tennis tournament and Chelsea Flower Show adding to strong demand from business and leisure travellers.

The most popular overseas destination for New Zealand travellers was Sydney where the average price per room increased 1 per cent to $197, while number two choice Melbourne rose 13 per cent to $190 through a rebounding corporate and conference market, it said.

HOTEL HIJINKS
* Norwegians sleep naked more than other nations.
* 62pc of Spanish spend their time having sex.
* 29pc choose a traditional British breakfast.
* Right hand side of the bed is the most popular.

Source: Hotels.com

- NZ Herald

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