Just How Costly Are Your Hotel Expenses?

Written by Melissa Rudd

Survey reveals Moscow has the most expensive room rate for overnight stays.

The expense of flying abroad to attend conferences, high profile meetings and industry events can sometimes be forgotten when the company are paying your way. On the other side of the coin, the cost incurred to companies in a time of recession is much more of a focus.

Flights, taxis, airport transfers and meals are one thing, but the actual cost of staying in a hotel can vary greatly depending on the country. A survey by corporate services company Hogg Robinson Group (HRG) identified the 50 most expensive cities to stay overnight in by average cost of a hotel room (in GBP), with prices measured between January and June 2011.

Top of the list was Russian capital Moscow, where a room costs on average just over £260 per night. Two Swiss cities were next on the list, with Geneva costing more than £227 and Zurich over £220. Paris and Stockholm both came in at over £200, with Washington, Sydney and Istanbul costing more than £195. New York City placed ninth at £193.96 and Oslo crept into the top 10 at £193.70.

Turkish capital Istanbul also achieved the highest overall increase in hotel rate of 37 percent compared with 2010. “A large part of this growth can be attributed to growing interest in Istanbul as a business destination, combined with travellers’ preference to stay in five-star properties over three and four-star,” said Margaret Bowler, Director Global Hotel Relations at HRG.

“Many business travellers visiting Turkey choose top end hotels in Istanbul due to safety concerns. For example, they often request a hotel with a bar, so that they do not have to walk far to meet business partners.

“The shift from Europe to Asia in hotel rate growth is significant in that it demonstrates changing business priorities. The rates demonstrate that demand has increased for travel to emerging regions as a result of the need to do business and that travellers are willing to pay higher hotel costs during their stay. Outside of Asia, Istanbul in particular has come out with strong rate growth.”

Stewart Harvey, Group Commercial Director at HRG, added that prices had risen even though companies were tightening their belts when it came to paying for employees’ travel. “Despite the fact that many large companies have put in place travel restrictions and cost reductions, hotel rates in the majority of cities surveyed increased. Demand is driving the rate.

“We can expect hotel rates to continue to rise as more economies grow and business demand picks up. During this time it is critical for clients looking to minimise travel spend to work with us to negotiate fair hotel rates.

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