Canberra - Cape Town has seen one of the biggest jumps in hotel prices in the world, according to a global survey that showed hotel rates rising for the first time in three years as the global economy picks up.
Hotel provider Hotels.com's bi-annual hotel price index, released on Tuesday, found that some of the greatest price rises happened in cities tied to major events.
This included price hikes in Cannes, France, which hosts the annual Cannes Film Festival, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, the setting for part of Julia Roberts' new movie Eat Pray Love.
Room rates in Bali surged 57%, the largest price rise for any destination.
The second-biggest rise was recorded in Cape Town, host to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where room rates jumped 53% to average $180 a night.
Although average hotel room rates are at low levels seen six years ago, there are hints of a recovery.
"We're seeing travel bookings pick up around the world," Hotels.com spokesperson Victor Owens said in a statement.
Overall, prices rose about 2% in the second quarter of 2010 from a year ago, the first increase since the end of 2007, as business travellers and tourists started packing their bags again and heading out.
The index, now in its seventh year and based on a sample of about 91 500 properties in 15 750 locations, found second-quarter room rates rose 1% in Europe and the Caribbean, 3% in the Americas and stabilised in Asia.
Capri, Geneva and New York top the list for the most expensive hotel rooms.
Prices on the Italian island of Capri rose 7%, making it the most expensive destination for hotels and uprooting Monte Carlo from the top slot in 2009.
In Geneva, and Switzerland overall, average hotel room rates were up 8% to $254, while New York City was found to be the most expensive city for rooms in the United States, with prices up 14% from a year ago.
Rounding out the top 10 were Dubrovnik in Croatia, Venice, Rio de Janiero, Paris, Bali, London and Moscow.
Owens said a gradual return of business travel and an increase in domestic US travel fuelled the overall increases - but that the price rises were not universal.
"There are, of course, still deals to be had, especially in international destinations like Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Reykjavik which each saw a major drop in hotel prices during the first half of 2010," he said.
The average price of a hotel room in Abu Dhabi plummeted by 46%, and prices in Reykjavik, Iceland, fell on average by 18% following a volcanic eruption and subsequent ash cloud that disrupted air travel across northern Europe in April.
The price drop in Abu Dhabi was fuelled by an increase in the number of rooms as new hotels opened, and a fall in the number of corporate travellers due to the global economic crisis.
"This influential city of commerce was affected by the fall of international business travel, as was its larger neighbour, Dubai, which saw a 10% decrease," said Owens.
Prices in Moscow fell 8%, in Budapest they dropped 7% and prices slipped 6% in Copenhagen, Cancun, Athens, Taipei, and Dublin.