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10 U.S. Cities That Are Becoming Way More Expensive To Visit

By Rachel Gresh
Read time: 6 minutes

Have you noticed significant price increases at some of your favorite destinations around the United States? If so, you’re not alone. Every year, the financial experts at Business Travel News analyze the average tourism costs for 100 popular U.S. cities, using hotel, car rental, and meal prices to determine the average cost per day to visit a city. We looked at the last five years of data and identified which cities have experienced the highest price hikes, comparing the fourth quarter of 2018 to the most recent data from the end of 2023. What resulted was a list of cities from around the country, both small and large — some expected and some surprising. Check out the 10 U.S. tourist destinations with the biggest price increases in recent years.

10. Savannah, Georgia – 22.38% Increase

Historic cobblestone street at dusk in Savannah, Georgia
Credit: Sean Pavone/ iStock via Getty Images 

Average Daily Cost:
2018: $284.90
2023: $348.65

With more and more tourists visiting Georgia’s most charming coastal city each year, Savannah shows no signs of slowing down. Savannah is the oldest city in the state, and its federally designated historic district is one of the largest in the country. Tourists flock here to admire Savannah’s many historic mansions, stroll under its moss-draped trees, and try the fantastic Southern cuisine. But with an influx of visitors come some painful price hikes. While car rental and meal prices have remained relatively flat, the most significant price increase was for lodging, which skyrocketed from an average of $155.71 per night to $219.06 — a 40.68% increase.

9. Phoenix, Arizona – 22.56% Increase

Downtown Phoenix, Arizona, skyline
Credit: KingWu/ E+ via Getty Images

Average Daily Cost:
2018: $316.41
2023: $387.80

Arizona’s capital city — the most populous capital in the country — is renowned for its golf resorts, wellness retreats, and stunning desert and mountain landscapes. It’s also one of America’s sunniest cities, so it’s little wonder that tourists flock here (especially in the winter months). But as more and more people visit, prices have gone up considerably. Though car rental costs have remained flat, meal costs have increased by around 12.2%. As in Savannah, the most significant factor in Phoenix’s soaring tourism prices was the cost of hotels. The average nightly room rate surged from $172.36 to $235.47, an increase of 36.22%. Evidently, though, many tourists are happy to pay for the sprawling desert views Phoenix is known for.

8. Miami, Florida – 23.93% Increase

Art Deco buildings of South Beach in Miami, Florida
Credit: Alexander Spatari/ Moment via Getty Images 

Average Daily Cost:
2018: $354.54
2023: $439.39

Southern Florida’s entertainment hub on the Atlantic Ocean is a longtime vacation mainstay. Due to its popularity — along with nationwide inflation — it’s also becoming one of Florida’s most expensive beach cities to visit. As in other cities on this list, meal and car rental prices have remained relatively steady in Miami, but hotels are becoming pricier every year. In 2018, a stay in the average Miami hotel room would have set you back around $193.98, but by the end of 2023, that price rose to $280.70 per night, a 44.71% increase.

7. Tucson, Arizona – 24.75% Increase

Skyline of Tucson, Arizona, framed by mountains
Credit: Sean Pavone/ iStock via Getty Images Plus 

Average Daily Cost:
2018: $261.19
2023: $325.83

Home to Saguaro National Park, the University of Arizona, and plenty of historical sights, Tucson gives its neighbor Phoenix a run for its money — both as a popular tourist destination and, quite literally, for the cost to visit. Average meal costs went up nearly 12%, and car rentals rose almost 15% in the past five years. Hotels once cost an average of $133.41 per night in Tucson, but now, a typical room would cost you $181.40. Of course, that’s relatively low compared to the cost of hotels in other cities on this list, but for Tucson, it’s a notable jump. 

6. Orlando, Florida – 28.61% Increase

Lake lined with high rises in Orlando, Florida
Credit: Gina Pricope/ Moment via Getty Images 

Average Daily Cost:
2018: $303.70
2023: $390.59

Thanks to its many theme parks, Orlando is one of the most expensive tourist destinations in the U.S., and it also has experienced some of the highest price increases in recent years. The price of meals and car rentals has increased by only a few dollars a day on average, but tourists spend most of their money on hotels. A hotel that would have cost $171.00 per night in 2018 cost $247.69 in 2023, a 44.85% increase. Conversely, many theme parks have kept admission prices steady in recent years (though tickets are by no means cheap). For example, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom ticket prices have actually decreased since 2018, from $122 to $109.

5. Jackson, Mississippi – 28.68% Increase

Empty street leading to state capitol building in Jackson, Mississippi
Credit: Jeremy Woodhouse/ DigitalVision via Getty Images 

Average Daily Cost:
2018: $233.78
2023: $300.82

There is much to do and see in Mississippi’s capital city, perhaps an overlooked tourist destination by many, but unfortunately, it’s become one of the most expensive cities in the state to visit. Hotel prices are up 47.48%, from $113.87 to $167.94. Meal and rental car prices also increased by around 11%, making it a bit more costly to enjoy the town’s dozens of museums and historical sights — including the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Mississippi State Capitol. 

4. Allentown, Pennsylvania – 29.94% Increase

Snowy residential street in Allentown, Pennsylvania
Credit: peeterv/ iStock via Getty Images Plus 

Average Daily Cost:
2018: $253.50
2023: $329.40

Located about 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia, Allentown is Pennsylvania’s third-most-populated city. Allentown’s small-town charm becomes apparent the moment you step foot here, from its minor league baseball games to its many farmers markets, gardens, and museums. But despite flying under the radar as a tourist destination, this Lehigh Valley city isn’t cheap. Hotels are up 45.5%, with an average nightly cost of $193.35 in 2023, compared to 2018’s $132.89 average. Rental car prices are steady, but food costs have also increased. The average daily meal cost has risen by 16.74%, from $78.69 to $91.86. 

3. Sarasota, Florida – 36.86% Increase

High rises and palm trees in Sarasota, Florida
Credit: SeanPavonePhoto/ iStock via Getty Images Plus 

Average Daily Cost:
2018: $327.85
2023: $448.67

Home to esteemed art museums and pristine beaches including Siesta Key, the Gulf Coast city of Sarasota offers plenty of appeal for visitors — but the secret seems to be out. Although rental car prices have increased by only around $1 per day, everything else is more expensive than five years ago, driven by a recent increase in tourism, a growing city, and national trends in inflation. Meals increased by nearly 9%, but hotels shot up by 57.87% — the most significant jump on this list. What cost $197.96 per night in 2018 now costs an average of $312.51. Still, many travelers will say enjoying a beautiful coastal sunset in Sarasota is worth the expense. 

2. Tampa, Florida – 37.01% Increase

Street in downtown Tampa, Florida, seen from above
Credit: anouchka/ iStock via Getty Images Plus 

Average Daily Cost:
2018: $271.81
2023: $372.40

Sarasota’s neighbor about an hour’s drive to the north has also seen a significant price jump over the past five years. Tampa has experienced a hotel price increase of 51%, with an average price of $234.69 per night at the end of 2023. Meals are also making a dent in tourists’ wallets, with an increase of 29.17%, the most significant meal cost increase on this list. With its shimmering Gulf Coast beaches, amusement parks, riverwalk, and sports teams, there is no shortage of activities for locals and visitors alike. Just be prepared to shell out a little extra cash in this coastal Florida city.

1. Las Vegas, Nevada – 44.50% Increase

Paris Hotel with replica Eiffel Tower on Las Vegas Strip, seen at night
Credit: aldo_dz/ iStock via Getty Images Plus 

Average Daily Cost:
2018: $306.97
2023: $443.32

Las Vegas has one of the country’s cheapest airports to fly to, but sadly, the good news ends there. Average hotel prices have risen 54.98%, from $173.11 per night in 2018 to $268.29 in 2023 — and high-end hotels on the Strip will set you back much further. Meal prices aren’t much better, with a nearly 14% increase. Interestingly, while all other cities on this list saw slight increases in rental car prices, Las Vegas has seen a sharp increase of over 61%. Tourists once paid $47.77 per day for a car rental, but now, an average rental car costs $77.12. This makes exploring nearby sights like the Red Rock Canyon and the Hoover Dam more expensive, but luckily, there’s plenty to keep you entertained in Vegas itself.

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