American Express Business Travel today announced pricing projections from its annual Global Business Travel Forecast, indicating increases are expected between three percent and nine percent for airfare and hotel rates in key markets around the world. Flat to slightly down prices are expected in car rental rates on average in North America and Europe, but up in Asia Pacific.
“Throughout 2010, companies have lifted travel restrictions brought on by red bottom line fears and this is expected to continue into 2011 as firms look more toward growing the top line. Yet pricing power will swing back to air and hotel suppliers for the first time in two years in 2011 as more competition for limited seats on planes and increased occupancy levels at hotels are expected,” stated Robert Tedesco, Vice President of Global Business Partnerships & Advisory Services for American Express Business Travel, Japan and Asia Pacific. “As a result, companies should re-examine program strategies and policies undertaken in the past few years and look to manage budgets and cost-control tactics competitively to protect them from the significant rate increases expected.”
The annual Forecast, produced by American Express Business Travel’s Global Advisory Services research practice, eXpert insights, includes pricing predictions for 89 types of air fares (business and economy class tickets for long-haul, short-haul and trans border flights originating in 21 countries), as well as expected negotiated hotel rates for mid-range and upper-range properties in 317 North American cities, 36 Latin American cities, 127 European and Middle East cities and 55 Asia-Pacific cities. The Forecast also contains pricing trends related to ground transportation and meetings spending in key regions around the world, and a section on what companies and managed travel category managers should be doing to curtail their impact on companies’ bottom and top lines today.