03/05/2013 10:40 am ET

Hotel Room Prices Stay Low As Europe Gets Affordable (INFOGRAPHIC)

Though hotel rooms are becoming more expensive every year, the march of prices slowed in 2012 and has failed to keep pace with many other goods and services according to the Price Index, a study looking at trends across the hospitality industry. The new HPI shows that prices still haven't recovered to where they were hovering before the financial collapse in 2008 and that excellent deals are still available, predominantly in Europe.

Over the course of the last year, the price of European hotel rooms has increased by only 1 percent -- a fairly stunning number given that the London Olympics attracted enormous crowds who paid enormous sums of money. On the other end of the spectrum, prices continued to rise more rapidly in the Pacific region, which has seen rates rocket up 21 percent in the last three years largely thanks to the reliability of business travel.

These numbers don't necessarily mean that travel to Europe has become incredibly cheap -- food and transportation continue to be expensive -- but they do mean that high-end luxury is available to anyone savvy enough to find a deal. Of the 10 cities with the lowest five-star room rates, seven are in Europe. And these are desirable destinations: Berlin, Lisbon and Pisa made the list.

As Europe's economic crisis churns forward, the trends of 2012 are likely to become the trends of 2013, meaning that now might be the time to visit the continent. That said, there is an argument to be made that it is really the time to visit Asia and the Pacific in an attempt to get there before it get too expensive.



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