Moscow Has Most Expensive Hotel Rates in World, Report Shows

Moscow retained its ranking as the city with the most expensive average hotel room rate in the world, a survey by business travel agency Hogg Robinson Group Plc showed.

The average rate in the city in the first half was 256.83 pounds ($407), Hogg Robinson said in a report on its website today. Geneva followed as the second-most expensive city at 199.11 pounds and Hong Kong at 197.61 pounds.

The hotel market in Europe and the U.S. “appears to be stabilizing,” with cities including Amsterdam, Stockholm and Zurich showing increases in average room rates, according to the report. Hotels are recovering after struggling to attract business over the past two years as the recession deterred holidaymakers and forced companies to cut budgets.

“Globally, the hotel industry has shown signs of recovery in the first half of 2010,” Hogg Robinson spokeswoman Margaret Bowler said in the report. “Moscow yet again retains its place as the city with the highest average room rate for the sixth year, despite a fall of 12 percent when measured in local currency.”

Average room rates advanced 13 percent in Stockholm, 7 percent in Zurich and 5 percent in Geneva during the six months, Hogg Robinson said.

Room rates in Abu Dhabi showed the highest average rate reduction, falling 25 percent, due to a drop in occupancy and new hotel developments. Rome, Copenhagen and Dubai also showed reductions of 7 percent, 10 percent and 12 percent respectively.

London’s average room rates advanced 1 percent, after a “significant” increase in corporate occupancy levels and “buoyant” demand from leisure travelers, as well as the weakness of the British pound against other currencies.

U.S. room rates were “flat or marginally lower,” except for San Francisco, where average rates fell by 11 percent.

A drop in demand and oversupply in places contributed to the fall in prices in Bangalore, Belfast and Beijing, where rates fell 21 percent, 12 percent and 19 percent in British pounds, while currency fluctuations caused most of the rise in prices in British pounds in Australia and South Africa, the report said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Louisa Fahy at lnesbitt@bloomberg.net

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