What’s shaping the world of travel for GenZ?

Have you ever considered that everything we know about the world around us is down to the people around us? Whether they are working, studying, creating, thinking, traveling, or anything in between, choices shape our society. Simply by existing in this world, we are constantly making decisions that influence us and people around us. Isn’t that a little bit strange?

When we think about traveling, big changes are already being seen. From how people choose destinations and different places to visit and where to eat and where to stay. When taking a look at these changes, we might ask ourselves:

  • What does traveling mean to people?
  • What has changed from the previous generation to this one?
  • What seeds are being planted for future changes?
  • And, more importantly, why are these changes happening and how does it relate to the next generation?

With a little bit of curiosity we can find out new things and learn more about the world around us. But, better yet, we can dream up great questions which can bring us to thought-provoking information. That’s exactly what Nicolas Arroyo, Director of Foresight and Founding Partner at Bespoke Copenhagen — a global Futures Design Studio — came to share at Future’s Travel first Summit.

Bespoke operates to help organizations that are trying to understand the future and make sense of what’s happening in the landscapes of their fields and sectors in which they operate. At Future Travel’s Summit, we asked one great question that shaped Nicolas’ talk – what forces and trends are shaping the world of travel for Gen Z?  

Emerging patterns of change are very likely to impact how we live and how we work. Megatrends are large, social, economic, political, environmental or technological changes that are slow to form, but once in place can influence a wide range of activities, processes and perceptions, possibly for decades.

Keeping an eye on who’s shaping our future

In many ways, observing trends means keeping an eye on what’s shaping the future. They are the underlying forces that drive change in global markets and impact our everyday livesNicolas affirms. 

Trends are a reflection of who we are as a society and come from very different and valuable aspects that influence different landscapes – social, technology, economy, environment, politics and values. To better understand the main trends and aspects that will drive change in the world, we need to understand the generations to come, how they are different, and why. 

Generational shifts induce changes over time in all sectors and all walks of life. Put simply – 90s kids won’t act, think, live, work, want, or relate to the same things as those who grew up in the 60s. Generations have different experiences and influences, and generally, kids don’t look at the world the same as their parents. 

In 2022, the group of people that is now starting to influence business, lifestyle and whole industries is Gen Z. 

Bespoke found that there are three main aspects that underscore Generation Z’s people: activism, identity and technology. Let’s understand who integrates this generation and how do they relate to traveling?

“Many studies suggest that in the next 5 to 10 years they will start to take over the economy in new ways. […] We make generalizations when trying to understand very large groups of people in ways that can help us see them in a new light and make sense of certain changes. So, this doesn’t apply to everybody nor anywhere in the world; we’re mainly talking about the western world and how this world’s changing.”

Gen Z: Who are they?

Generation Z, the ‘Zoomers’, is made up of people born in the mid 1990s to the early 2010s. They fall in between the Millennials  (early 1980s to mid 90s) and just before the Alphas (early 2010s to mid 2020s). The children of Generation X (mid 1960s to early 1980s), Gen Z grew up in a more chaotic global context compared to the previous generations, and perhaps pivot after 9/11 – an event that radically changed global society. 

Crucially, Gen Z are digital natives. They are the first generation to grow up with technology. They see tech and all things digital as ‘normal’ as they were raised with the internet and social media. They haven’t experienced life without a screen and on-line interactions. They don’t know the world without the internet. 

Internet, social media, technology and globalization opens up their options of connections with people and cultures worldwide, resulting in a generation that is more open to new experiences.

It’s a generation that embraces diversity in a different way and is a racially diverse group of people in the western world, too. Very focused on wellness, physical and mental health matters a lot, resonating as a personal and professional value that helps navigate their everyday lives.

Those are the people entering the workforce at this moment and gaining purchase power in the coming years, and therefore, these emerging patterns of change are likely to shape the labor market and impact how we live and how we work, Nicolas concludes.

The defining features of Generation Z

According to Bespoke’s research, traveling for Generation Z has everything to do with “the dimensions that define very unique experiences, especially when we think about traveling”.

Considering what we see happening today to GenZ’s people, the question we ask is: what are their emerging needs and behaviors? With that in mind, we make hypotheses and assumptions about the potential impact of those behaviors in the futureHere’s what we discovered.

  1. Activism 

Zoomers are a generation of activists. They care about many different causes and get involved in different movements and campaigns that matter to them – including climate change, gender diversity, social justice, veganism, animal cruelty, political subjects and so on. 

Nicolas comments: “A lot of different causes that this generation Z feels very burning for and that defines this generation as activists by default

  1. Identity

Born in a world where anything can be possible, more importance and awareness has been placed on identity. But, it’s still very undefined. Nicolas reflects on this, saying that cultures are merging because of the internet and this also creates a very ambiguous identity. So this generation is also going to search for identity — that doesn’t necessarily have something to do with nationality or race, it has more to do with values, taste, preferences“.

  1. Tech Savvy

Oh these young adults looooove tech. And the funny thing is, it’s so much a part of their lives and who they are, that they don’t even notice just how much it influences their everyday routines. Technology, internet and social media are all second nature for the generation that was born into a high-tech world. 

Let’s dive a little deeper… 

How is identity influencing Generation Z’s travel behaviors?

  1. Spending power

This is still a young generation, generally still only entering the workforce. They have less spending power than previous generations. So, a very important item on their travel checklist is always going to be budget! 

With this in mind, car travel is increasingly losing its importance as a status symbol. Cars aren’t as attractive to this generation as others – after all, there are other ways to travel, many of which involve tech. Nicolas draws on the example of one tweet from a Gen Z’er who was campaigning for a high-speed rail system in the US, this generation doesn’t have the same access to car travel (often from a financial perspective), and so, new transport initiatives can be anticipated to emerge. 

  1. Value-based events 

An interesting emerging trend is the rise in micro festivals tailored to specific taste, preferences and social affiliations. As well as this, there are more and more small events popping up that are specific to certain niches – the likes of vegan festivals, spiritual festivals, cultural encounters and more. 

One example is Copenhagen’s ‘The Youth Island’ – a space for festivals and events tailored to specific interests, from gender fluidity, equality, veganism, animal activism and so on. It’s a place for young people to meet and gather around the values that matter to them. 

  1. Solo female travelers on the rise

Google trends has recorded a massive trend in searches for ‘Solo Female Travel’. Gen Z women are becoming more adventurous and are finding ways to travel safely on their own. It’s part of the wider female empowerment we see across society, and a part of female solo travel and self expression (finally) being more accepted. 

How is activism influencing Generation Z’s travel behaviors?

  1. More awareness about carbon footprints

Gen Z is much more aware of the environmental impact of travel and would rather take cleaner means of transportation. Beyond transportation, ecotourism and climate awareness are big influencers for this generation’s travel decisions.

It’s also about understanding the impact that food, accommodation, clothing and more can have on the environment. They are constantly analyzing these micro-choices. 

  1. Rediscovering the local and the nearby

The combination of both the climate crisis and the pandemic has made this generation more interested in staying local. Zoomers are finding ways to get in touch with nature and value beautiful places in their streets, neighborhoods and cities. 

Hiking, for example, surged during the coronavirus pandemic as a way to escape from the pressure and anguish this generation suffered during the most severe lockdowns. This activity resonates with remoteness, independence, sustainability, and, the aesthetics of outdoor living is appealing to this generation in clothing and lifestyle alike. 

  1. Connecting over consuming

Slow tourism is nothing new, and it’s something that’s here to stay with this generation. Enjoying less places with more time. Enjoy more, feel less pressure, connect more with other people and with nature, and value the simple aspects of travel. 

Airbnb created a ‘local hosts initiative’ as a way to connect to local culture, meet local people, and create community connections when traveling – interesting concept right?

For the generation of activism and sustainability it definitely fits. Gen Z’s also have new definitions of luxury which is important to note. DOr them, luxury means worrying about nature, creating cruelty free products and making ethical choices – it’s these things they are willing to pay for. 

When understanding the importance of activism, think of Greta Thunberg. She took a boat to COP25 instead of a plane and these symbolic events actually influence and represent the rest of the generation. Not that they will all go to this extreme, but this decision making process is certainly on their minds. 

How is technology influencing Generation Z’s travel behavior?

According to Nicolas, this generation is “very tech savvy – they depend on technology.”

  1. Instagram and YouTube determine where Gen Z travels 

Influencers are the new travel guides, and are replacing old-school travel agents and celeb-inspo. Young people are using social media to find places to eat, drink, visit and explore and this generation will choose to trust an influencer over a celebrity because it feels more real and trustworthy to do so. 

Haley Dasovich, for example, is an influencer that focuses on traveling tips for solo traveling.

Using technology she connects to these people in order to guide and help them travel on their own wherever they want to go.

  1. Metaverse will create new ways of moving and experiencing

It’s a gaming generation and games are becoming more authentic and accurate to real life environmental details. The inception of the metaverse might just allow new traveling experiences to appear. 

Speaking of, the economy of intangibles is also likely to shape future travel. From how we use crypto currencies, to what it means to spend money on intangible places – these are all things to keep an eye on for the future. 

  1. MaaS paves the way for a new mobility culture

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is one of the world’s big trends at the moment. It integrates various forms of transport services into a single mobility service accessible on demand, making the car a little redundant in many places. From the bike and e-scooter to uber drivers, mobility apps are enabling this tech savvy generation to travel everywhere, anywhere. 

The importance of tech can’t be understated when looking at Gen Z’s travel behaviors. The Assassin’s Creed, a popular game amongst this generation, recreates ancient Egypt in a very real way – with the help of experts and historians. The game recreates lives and stories in scenarios that are exciting and accessible to this generation, and entices Zoomers to explore these locations. Games and influencers are inspiring future travel destinations, and with new tech shaping mobility, Gen Z are exploring the world differently. 

Nicolas explains, Emerging patterns of change are very likely to impact how we live and how we work. Megatrends are large, social, economic, political, environmental or technological changes that are slow to form, but once in place can influence a wide range of activities, processes and perceptions, possibly for decades.”

So, taking all things into consideration – reflecting on the world and people around us, we can find so many answers, but we find even more questions. Some food for thought that came up during this research into Gen Z travel trends…

  • How will Gen Z’s new definition of luxury redefine travel and hospitality? 
  • How will Gen Z’s values and ethics shape transportation, food and travel experiences?
  • How will the economy of intangibles affect purchasing decisions? 
  • How will Gen Z’s different relationship with work affect what it means to be ‘on holidays’?

Nicolas ends his talk with a thought-provoking insight: What is work, life, balance changes. Maybe they will have different needs in regards to ‘being off’ or having to travel or being on holidays. Maybe previous generations have this in a very clear way: now I’m at work, now I’m off. That shift in behavior will also redefine the industry of traveling”

We may use the future as a source of inspiration and hope for the present“, Nicolas suggests. Let’s get inspired to develop future-facing strategies for developing new products, services and experiences that will live in the future!

 → The content of this post has been done based on a keynote from Nicolas Arroyo during the FutureTravel Summit in November, 2021. To stay up to date with the latest trends, insights and startups disrupting the travel industry, sign up to our weekly newsletter.

COVID-19 makes Australian skiing even more expensive in 2020

Thredbo has become the first Australian ski resort to reveal its pricing for season 2020, increasing the cost of a daily lift ticket by 20 per cent to $159 a day.

Sounds outrageous at a time of hardship and unemployment for many, however the steep price hike is no doubt down to the fact that Thredbo, like all Australian ski resorts, will have to limit the number of guests it allows onto the mountain this year, although there’s no clarity on what that number will be.

There are also no discounts for multi-day passes or  seasonality.

“To enable the resort to open for skiing and snowboarding, we will be rolling out a revised operating model that has been developed under the advice provided by the NSW Health Department and the State and Federal Governments,” GM Stuart Diver said.

There’ll be a limit of two people per quad chair, one at a time on t-bar (nightmare), tip-to-tail queuing , 1.5m social distancing and no group lessons.  All bookings must be made in advance.

Thredbo will be open to skiing and boarding from June 22.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson at nearby Perisher said: “Our teams are busy updating the range of products and services that we will have available. Tickets, lessons and rentals will be available for purchase by June 15 with skiing and boarding to start on June 24.”

Hotel tech company ReZme launches $800,000 crowd funding capital raise

Hospitality tech startup ReZme has launched an $800,000 capital raise to build out its website design, management and online marketing platform, which the founders claim will help operators increase direct bookings.

reZme was founded by Matt Taylor, former GM of Marketing at Choice Hotels Asia-Pacific, and and digital marketer Luke Young late last year.

It’s aiming to sign up 1000 hoteliers and property operators over the next two years with subscriptions to the software as a service (SAAS) platform starting at $159 a month. 

Taylor claims reZme increases user productivity by enhancing online marketing and consolidating key performance metrics in an easy to understand dashboard.

For details on investing in ReZme, visit https://www.birchal.com/company/rezme.

Booking.com softens rate parity stance in Australia

Booking.com has made major concessions to its controversial rate parity policy in Australia following negotiations with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission but will still not allow hoteliers to offer cheaper rates on their own websites.

In an email this week, Booking.com CEO Gillian Tans advised Australian hoteliers that from September 1 the world’s largest online travel agent (OTA) will allow hoteliers and accommodation operators to offer better deals they like through most other channels without retribution.

This includes arch-rival Expedia, which is locked in discussions with the ACCC, and other online travel agents. Update 29 Aug: Expedia has just advised it is making the same rate parity changes.

It’s an extension of the policy Booking.com has adopted in Europe, where the anti-competitive nature of rate parity – ie contractually obligating operators to charge the same room rates across all distribution channels – has been under pressure from government competition watchdogs, particularly in France and Germany.

In an email sent to Australian operators today, Booking.com CEO Gillian Tans provided details of the “recent agreement” between the ACCC and Booking.com.

” Booking.com has agreed to extend the commitments it has rolled out in the European Union to all accommodations in Australia.

“Here is a summary outlining of what changes for you:

“1. You may set different room rates and offer different conditions and availability on different OTAs

“This means you don’t have to offer the same room rates, conditions and availability on Booking.com as other OTAs.

“This gives you greater flexibility to manage your offering across distribution channels.

“2. You may offer lower rates or better conditions through offline channels (such as telephone bookings and walk-ins) provided you do not publish or market offline rates online.

“We have had feedback that our partners want the ability to discount through offline reservation channels without having to give us the same or better rates.

“From now on, we will not require the same or better rates in respect of rooms sold via offline channels, provided that you do not market those offline rates online (e.g. on your website or on meta-search sites).

“3. There is no restriction on the unpublished room rates or conditions you may offer, provided you do not market those rates online.

“We understand it may be important for you to offer special rates to your loyal customers through non-public channels (such as closed-user groups) or to negotiate special rates on a bilateral basis (e.g. a special private group discount).

“4. You are still contracted to give Booking.com parity in respect of room rates and conditions offered on your own website (which includes meta-search sites such as Trivago, Kayak, TripAdvisor or Google Hotel Finder when they redirect the consumer to your own website for booking).

“We no longer require you to give us the same availability as our competitors, but in order to give meaning to our relationship, we require at least some availability in respect of all rooms and room-rate types. The rest of the contract with you remains unchanged.”

Clement Wong, CEO, BeMyGuest

Clement has worked with the top travel companies in the world, airlines, hotels, online travel agencies, tour operators, car rental companies, helping them with their strategies and market research.

He has also advised blue chip banks and venture capital firms on their acquisitions in the travel space.

Before starting BeMyGuest, he was heading up research for Phocuswright in Europe.

Prior to that, he was the Lead Analyst for Non-Air Distribution at Travelport, and also headed up travel and tourism research for Euromonitor in the EMEA region.

Book with confidence at Wotif? No, it’s just ‘Puffery’ says Expedia

Lawyers are supposed to protect the reputations of their clients, not trash them. But it looks like someone forget to tell the highly-paid legal eagles representing Expedia in Australia, who’ve inadvertently done a hatchet job on the credibility of once-iconic Australian subsidiary Wotif.com.

They did this by arguing that Wotif should not have to refund the cost of Canberra man Hugh Selby’s horror Hawaiian holiday because its “Book with confidence” statement is “puffery” (exaggerated or false praise), while saying that if you’ve got a problem with that, please read the fine print, we’ve got you covered there.

But the questionable strategy backfired and Expedia was ordered to give Mr Selby, who took Expedia to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT), a full refund plus costs. Why? In simple terms, false advertising – the Haleiwa holiday home he arrived at looked nothing  like the images online.

Deceptive and misleading conduct

The pictures were great but the reality was a dump in Hugh’s opinion, and the Tribunal agreed, finding that “Expedia, acting as Wotif, engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by claiming consumers could book with confidence because of the company’s ‘great local knowledge’ “, according to an ABC report.

Statements like that can be very damaging to a brand, especially galling when the issue could have been nipped in the bud for a few thousand dollars. 

Instead Expedia chose to fight the case because, just like Facebook and Google, it does not want to be held legally accountable for the content it publishes, which includes marketing and advertising.

Under this line of thinking, Expedia, Wotif, Booking.com, TripAdvisor and all the rest are just  friendly middlemen, seamlessly connecting you with the world’s greatest experiences curated by by travel experts but without any obligation to ensure the experience is what is promised.

Those days may be numbered. A crucial aspect of the ACAT judgement is that it found marketing claims by Wotif such as “Book with confidence” overrode the fine print designed to protect parent company Expedia from liability – ie what you say matters.

Jetstar also in the firing line

In some ways this ruling echoes a recent ACCC case involving Jetstar, which may be fined $1.95 million for making sweeping and legally unenforceable  statements in its terms and conditions (fine print) that the carrier and others point to when confronting irate customers. 

“No matter how cheap the fares are, airlines cannot make blanket statements to consumers that flights are non-refundable,” said Rod Sims, Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

“Services such as flights come with automatic consumer guarantees, and these rights cannot be excluded, restricted or modified.

“If a flight is cancelled or significantly delayed, passengers may be entitled to a refund under the consumer guarantees, which give consumers a right to a remedy if services are not supplied within a reasonable time.

“It’s frustrating for travellers when they have difficulty getting a refund for flights when they are entitled to one.

“This case is important not only for holding Jetstar to account, but sending a wider message that businesses cannot exclude or limit consumers’ rights under the Australian Consumer Law,’ ” Mr Sims said.

Both cases show that times are changing.

Legal Error of Judgement

To state the obvious, fighting this case has proven to be the wrong move for Expedia and has I think rattled the image of Wotif, Australia’s original hotel OTA.  

Founded in 2000 and sold to Expedia in 2014, Wotif has as much credibility as any Aussie travel company, and deserves to be treated with more respect.

Meanwhile, life goes on and the famous green website is still promising consumers they can “book with confidence” – though it’s probably time to add the caveat that statement should be taken with a grain of salt.

That’s how the lawyers would like it, however you cannot have it both ways.

Big changes as Qantas restructures business and staff

In major news, the Qantas Group will split Qantas Airlines into separate domestic and international businesses from July 1, while there have been numerous staff changes, including the resignation of Jetstar boss Bruce Buchanan after nine years with the low cost carrier he helped create.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said: “Qantas Domestic is strong and profitable (but) Qantas International is loss-making and does not deliver sustainable returns. Formally separating the management will ensure that we can independently run each business according to its specific priorities and market conditions.”

Qantas Domestic and Qantas International will each have its own CEO, operational and commercial functions. Their financial results will be reported separately, as is already the case with Jetstar.

Mr Joyce also announced a major shakeup of staff. The new Qantas Group Executive Committee will be:

  • Simon Hickey, CEO Qantas International. Mr Hickey is currently CEO, Qantas Frequent Flyer.
  • Lyell Strambi, CEO, Qantas Domestic. Mr Strambi is currently Group Executive, Qantas Airlines Operations.
  • Jayne Hrdlicka, CEO, Jetstar Group. Ms Hrdlicka is currently Group Executive, Strategy and Technology. The Strategy and Technology function will move under Chief Financial Officer Gareth Evans.
  • Lesley Grant, CEO, Qantas Frequent Flyer. Ms Grant was formerly the Group Executive responsible for developing Qantas’ new international strategy.
  • Jon Scriven, Group Executive, People and Office of the CEO.
  • Olivia Wirth, Group Executive, Government and Corporate Affairs
  • Brett Johnson, General Counsel
  • Gareth Evans, Chief Financial Officer

“Jetstar Group CEO Bruce Buchanan, having successfully built Jetstar into the leading low fares carrier across Asia, will leave the Group. Mr Buchanan will remain with Jetstar for the next six months to assist with the transition. He will then provide consultancy services to the Group for an additional 18 months.

“As a consequence of the revised structure, Rob Gurney, Group Executive Commercial and Freight, Qantas Airlines, has decided that it is appropriate to leave the Group.”

Mr Joyce said the restructure would strengthen the Qantas Group’s portfolio and help deliver its strategic goals.

“Over the past 18 months we have established a clear path to building a better, more competitive Qantas,” he said. “Our foundations are strong, with the two most profitable airlines in the domestic market, one of the world’s best loyalty programs and Jetstar targeting the fast-growing Asian leisure travel market.

“We have begun the process of restoring Qantas International to a sustainable position. Yesterday we announced that we will consolidate our heavy maintenance operations in Australia to maximise the benefits of our next-generation fleet of aircraft. And other initiatives are underway across the Group to increase efficiency and productivity.

“The restructure I announce today advances this essential program of change. It recognises that the Qantas Group is a true portfolio business.

“Qantas Domestic and Qantas International face very different situations. Qantas Domestic is strong and profitable. We are seeing the most sustained levels of high customer satisfaction on domestic services since 2004, and we are the airline of choice for corporate Australia.

“But we cannot be complacent – we must continue to offer customers the best network, frequency and flying experience in the domestic market, and find new ways to earn and reward their loyalty.

“Qantas International, a great airline with a rich history, is loss-making and does not deliver sustainable returns. However, we are committed to turning it around through the five-year strategy we announced last year, based on flying to global gateways, deeper alliances, smart investment in product and disciplined capital management.

“Formally separating the management of Qantas International and Qantas Domestic will ensure that we can independently run each business according to its specific priorities and market conditions.

“These measures give us the right structure to address the challenges and opportunities we face – and the right people.

“Simon Hickey has achieved record profits at Qantas Frequent Flyer, which now has 8.5 million members and is now a powerful brand in its own right. Lyell Strambi is an outstanding aviation executive with experiencing running all aspects of Qantas’ operations, while Lesley Grant’s credentials as former Group Executive Customer and Marketing make her well-placed to manage Qantas Frequent Flyer.

“Jayne Hrdlicka has been vital to the development of the Group’s strategy and will have an important job managing the Jetstar business across multiple markets following a successful period of expansion under Bruce Buchanan.

“I would also like to express my appreciation for the significant contribution Rob Gurney has made to Qantas over the past 14 years, and I wish him well in his future endeavours.

“Operationally, it will continue to be business as usual for Qantas customers and employees. We will be carefully working through the details of the separation of Qantas International and Qantas Domestic over the next few months. Relevant stakeholders will be kept informed and consulted as required and further announcements made at the appropriate time.”

The press release also stated: “Mr Buchanan has decided after nine years with the Qantas Group it is time to leave the company and explore new opportunities. This will include working with other Australian companies seeking to expand into growth markets within Asia”, just as he has done with the Jetstar Group of airlines.

“I’m extremely proud of my time at Jetstar working with a team of very talented people who pioneered a way of setting up airlines across Asia,” Mr Buchanan said.

“If we can export airlines – a business where we have no natural advantages – there are no limits to where we can leverage our Australian ingenuity.

“I’m looking forward to continuing my work with Alan and the Qantas Group over the next couple of years, while helping other businesses expand across Asia.”

Back to the future for global hotel room rates

Hotel Price Index - 2004-2010

GLOBAL hotel room rates have slumped to their lowest levels in six years, according to latest Hotels.com Hotel Price Index. Asia-Pacific is the only exception with prices 17% of ahead of 2004 but still way short of the 2008 peak. The past 12 months have been generally flat on a regional level with only Sydney, of all the major AP cities, recording  a year on year Q2 rate increase (+4%). Sydney rooms are still relatively cheap, though, with an average rate of A$159 paid through Hotels.com. The regional price leader is Singapore at A$194 (0% increase) followed by Hong Kong A$168 (-2%).

Global hotel prices rise but are still lower than in 2004

  • Average global hotel room price rises 2% in second quarter of 2010 as Australians continue to derive excellent value for money for international travel

Sydney, 14 September 2010: The average price of a hotel room around the world rose two per cent in the second quarter (Q2) of 2010 compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the latest Hotels.com® Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®), launched today.

This was the first time that hotel prices rose year-on-year following seven consecutive quarters of price falls. However, prices fell so low during 2009 that, despite the modest increase, the average price of a room globally was still lower than it was in 2004.

With a few isolated exceptions, worldwide hotel prices dropped markedly for Australian travellers during Q2 2010 compared to Q2 2009. Indeed, of the tens of major city destinations analysed by Hotels.com, only six cities (Cape Town, Toronto, Sydney, Shanghai, Cairns and Christchurch) experienced price rises in Q2 2010 compared to the same period last year. Cape Town in South Africa experienced the biggest price increase, with prices skyrocketing 71 per cent, most likely due to increased demand from international travellers as host of the FIFA World Cup in June.

Weak or at best uncertain demand together with the strengthening Australian Dollar, has meant Australians have continued to receive excellent value for their international travel. Notable price falls in major cities include: Abu Dhabi (-38%); Athens (-22%); Beijing (-20%); Chicago (-20%); Dublin (-16%) and Los Angeles (-16%).

For Australians, the most expensive international destinations were dominated by major US and European cities. New York was the world’s most expensive city for hotel accommodation for Australians in Q2 2010, with an average price per room per night of $268, followed by Venice at $251. Other popular European destinations such as London, Paris and Rome were also among the world’s most expensive cities.

Despite hotel prices falling 12% there in the past year, France remained the most expensive country for Australian visitors, while prices in India fell the most of any country (down 20%) between 2009 and 2010. Hotel prices across the United States were down by 10% year-on-year for Australian travellers, while they paid on average 5% less in Q2 2010 for hotels in the United Kingdom than they did the previous year.

Apart from Sydney and Cairns, where hotel prices rose four and eight per cent respectively, overall, average room prices for hotels in the major Australian cities decreased between 2009 and 2010 by an average of two per cent. Gold Coast hotel prices fell the most – by eight per cent – making it the least expensive Australian city for hotel accommodation at just $123 per night per room. Melbourne and Perth hotel room prices both fell three per cent in the same period to $155 and $144 respectively. Sydney’s price rise meant that Perth lost its title as Australia’s most expensive city for hotel accommodation in the last HPI.

David Roche,President, Hotels.com Worldwide,says: “Hotel pricing trends, up to the end of Q2 of 2010, confirm that stabilization has indeed been under way in the hotel industry, and that there are hints of a recovery.  However, while the Hotel Price Index has shown a rise of 2%, consumers should remember that hotel affordability across the world has not been this good since 2004, offering terrific opportunities to extend stays or trade up the star class.”

Johan Svanstrom, Managing Director, Asia Pacific for Hotels.com, comments: “For Australian travellers, there is an abundance of international and domestic destinations that offer value for money and will continue to do so for some time and as the Australian Dollar continues to perform well, many international destinations will continue to be favourably priced for Australian travellers.”

The greatest hotel price rises among the world’s top cities

The biggest price rises (ranked by % change year-on-year) in Q2 2010, compared to Q2 2009 (in AU$):

CityAverage price per room per night Q2 2010Average price per room per night Q2 2009% change year-on-year
Cape Town$197$11571%

The greatest hotel price falls among the world’s top cities

The biggest price falls (ranked by % change year-on-year) in Q2 2010, compared to Q2 2009 (in AU$):

CityAverage price per room per night Q2 2010Average price per room per night Q2 2009% change year-on-year
Abu Dhabi$173$278-38%

The world’s most expensive cities (ranked by price) in Q2 2010, compared to Q2 2009:

The world’s most expensive cities (ranked by price) in Q2 2010, compared to Q2 2009 (in AU$):

CityAverage price per room per night Q2 2010Average price per room per night Q2 2009% change year-on-year
New York$268$2670%

Anton Stanish, Regional Director Australia and NZ, HomeAway

Anton is HomeAway’s Director for Australia and NZ, responsible for all of their businesses in the region, which include the Stayz, Bookabach, YesBookit and HomeAway brands.

He led the Stayz team through the sale of the business by Fairfax Media to HomeAway in 2013, and is excited to now be part of the leading online vacation rental marketplace worldwide.

Anton joined Fairfax in 2006, and enjoyed successful stints in a number of senior strategy and digital product management roles.

Before stepping into the Stayz General Manager role in 2011, other notable highlights within Fairfax included the start-up of the BrisbaneTimes and BusinessDay websites, as well as the acquisition of InvestSmart, an online managed funds business.

Prior to joining Fairfax, Anton’s career spanned corporate development, product development and consulting roles in New Zealand, the UK and Australia, including time at Hoyts Cinemas and Fletcher Challenge.

Anton brings over 12 years of experience in growing online businesses. Anton holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Cantebury (NZ), and an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management and London Business School.

Born in New Zealand, Anton has lived in Sydney for the past 15 years.

Outside of work, Anton hopes to be spotted on a golf course or cheering on the All Blacks as they win another Rugby World Cup, but he is more likely to be spending time with his three young children.

Turochas Fuad, CEO and Co-Founder, Travelmob

Turochas “T” Fuad is the CEO and co-founder of travelmob – an online social stay marketplace that connects global travellers with hosts in Asia Pacific who have unique accommodations and experiences to offer. 
A seasoned entrepreneur, T’s background has spanned across various industries, which include enterprise software, mobile, and consumer Internet services

T most recently served as the Managing Director for Skype Asia, responsible for its business expansion and partnerships across the Asia Pacific region. During his time there, T led and launched a mobile partnership with KDDI to make Skype available to the second largest mobile network in Japan. T also led the team that broadened key partnerships in China, Australia, Taiwan and Korea.

Prior to joining Skype Asia’s headquarters in Singapore, T was responsible for all business aspects of Yahoo!’s Mobile business unit across the Southeast Asia market. T grew Yahoo!’s mobile operator partnerships in Southeast Asia from 3 to 12 within the first year and orchestrated the deployment and distribution of Yahoo! Mobile services and mobile advertising across the region.

T started his career at Yahoo! running its global Mobile Music business and partnerships.

Prior to joining Yahoo!, T served as the President and co-founder of WUF Networks, a convergence software company in the U.S. which Yahoo! acquired in 2005.

T is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.