Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/289ef/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> The global financial crisis has caused hotel prices in Australia to plunge by 6% to an average of $154 in the Septemeber quarter. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics quarterly survey of tourism accommodation, Sydney was the worst hit with average room rates falling by almost 12 % to $157. It is now more affordable to stay in a hotel room in Sydney than it is in Melbourne, with average room prices in the Victorian capital only declining by 2.6 % to $161 over the quarter. Across Australia, revenue dropped by more than 8 % . In Cairns, which has recently experienced a decline in Japanese tourists, revenue fell by 16 % per available room. Tourism and Transport Forum executive director Brett Gale said a decline in business travel had been a major factor in the lack luster results as companies reduced their travel budgets in response to the GFC. “This clearly shows that accommodation providers responded to falling demand by cutting their margins,” he said.Mr Gale said that for the most part Australia’s regional areas fared better than the city. Australian Hotels Association president Bill Healey said a lot of rates were based on decisions made in 2008. He continued to say that a number of hotels dropped thier room rates last year in order to maintain occupancy. “We’re optimistic that the more positive signs in the economy will lead to better rates this year,” he said. Mr Healey said room rates were still low by international standards, however he does image that there will be a little at the end of this economic tunnel. “There’s an opportunity for a hotel that’s courageous and starts to stand by their rates,” he said.The average room rate in the September quarter was $153 in Brisbane, $155 in Perth and $133 in Adelaide.