HOTEL occupancies are starting to drop in most major markets but room rates continued to rise through the first six months of 2008, according to Smith Travel Research, which benchmarks 36,000 hotels around the world.

Asia-Pacific was one of the strongest performers with average rates up 17% to US$141.53 while revenue per available room increased 12.5%. Africa and Europe were also strong, but maybe not for long thanks to US weakness.

“Europe is exhibiting some of the same issues as the US,” said STR Global Chairman Mark Lomanno. “The malaise in the US economy seems to be affecting a large number of countries, and all of the talk about the decoupling of the American economy from the global economy is turning out to simply be chatter. They are still quite intertwined.” Travel Trends: July 29, 2008

Share and Enjoy: