Dubai to be among top five hotspots for US tourists in 2011

Dubai is projected to feature among the top five international tourist destinations for the US travellers for 2011, according to HotelsCombined.com, a leading hotel search engine, with a database of more than 200,000 hotels from 195 countries.

For this year, the emirate has been listed in the top 10 coveted international tourist destinations out of the US, according to the latest study conducted by HotelsCombined.com, marking a huge improvement from last year. Dubai was placed in the 33rd position for international cities this time last year, according to Hichame Assi, Head of Strategy – Online Marketing at HotelsCombined.com.

"We are seeing steady monthly increases and predict Dubai will be ranked within the top five cities for 2011," Assi told Emirates Business.

Further, Dubai emerged as 2010's second most expensive tourist destination, costing the US visitors second highest nightly prices with the average room rates resting at $227 (Dh833) per night in Dubai hotels, after Playa del Carmen in Mexico offering nightly room rates of $240.

In 2009, however, the average room rates for hotels globally rested at $135.76, Assi said, adding that in 2010 average room rates are $198.67, marking a 46.3 per cent increase. "We believe this room rate increase will continue in 2011," he said.

In Dubai, meanwhile, hotels' average daily rate (ADR) decreased to $153.91 last year. Dubai hotels experienced steep average room rate declines in 2009 – as much as 30 per cent, according to industry experts.

When asked about how Dubai managed to figure in the top 10 destinations for this year, Assi said: "Dubai has previously had to compete with traditional European cities such as London, Rome and Paris. However, today, Dubai is in the top cities list."

He added that travellers are staying longer in Dubai. "It is interesting to note that in 2009, the average stay in Dubai was 4.8 nights. And in 2010, the average stay in Dubai is 5.6 nights," said Assi. So while Dubai, Bangkok, Sydney and Cancun showed up as the favourites in US travellers' international top 10 list for 2010, domestically, US travellers are seen headed to New York City, followed by Las Vegas, Miami Beach, Orlando, New Orleans and the city of Miami, according to the study.

Other coveted destinations

The US leisure and business travellers are factoring in value and price for their travel plans at the start of 2010, the study further said, with London and European favourites – Rome and Paris leading the way for US travellers.

According to the firm's General Manager, Michael Doubinski, both vacationers and business travellers are taking advantage of competitive deals in the current tourism environment before the industry rebounds.

He said: "In the first months of 2010, consumers are looking for good deals on hotels and flights that will make their dollar go further. The economy is still weak and so are hotel rates, but we are tracking consistent increases in pricing. If the economy continues this recovery, bargains will become harder to find. So for travellers on the lookout for cheap rates, the best time to book may, in fact, be now."

London was the top choice for international trips out of the US, as the city currently offers good value with average room rates of $166, heading off second-ranked Rome at an average rate of $148 and third-placed Paris at $197, according to the study.

Long-haul destinations Hong Kong and Sydney take fourth and fifth spots at a competitive $100 and higher $171 respectively, with sixth-ranked Bangkok attracting international travelers with low $77 nightly rates, the study said.

Barcelona, ranked seventh, is offering average rates of $154, with Playa del Carmen eighth in the top 10, ninth slot being taken by Cancun offering average rates of $192.

Domestically, however, the study reveals that the New York City is placed as the top US visitor choice for this year, despite its $180 average rates currently the country's second highest.

Furthermore, despite seeking out competitive deals, TripAdvisor's annual survey reports that Americans expect to travel more in 2010 than in 2009, with 41 per cent saying they plan to spend more on leisure travel in 2010 than in 2009.

 

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