According to an October 2007 American Express Global Business Travel Forecast, air travel, accommodations, transportation and meeting facilities will see a sharp increase in demand for 2008.
Expect Travel Rate Increases
Business travel demands will continue to drive an increase in rates, including double-digit hotel increases in certain markets in the US, Europe and Asia.
This poses a challenge for business and travel managers. According to Vice President and Global Leader for American Express Business Travel Advisory Services, Mike Streit, the average domestic inclusive business trip (airfare, care rental hotel) will increase six percent, bringing the average price to $1,100 domestic and $3,171 internationally.
According to the American Express report, domestic economy travel rates are expected to increase five percent domestically and ten percent internationally. Hotel rates are expected to increase up to seven percent for mid-range hotels and up to eight percent for upper-range hotels in the US.
And That’s Not All Folks
Due to the high demand and low supply, business travelers can expect changes in hotel terms as well as price. This may include a minimum or maximum stay requirements.
New Opportunities for Businesses
Due to the historic highs, stricter requirements, and challenges with keeping within a budget, travel and entertainment managers are expected to find ways to save money on meetings and events. This creates new opportunities for businesses that provide affordable travel and entertainment services, or who can offer cost saving conference or event services. Companies are also expected to increase their use of preferred suppliers to maximize benefits and savings.
The report also predicted a fifteen to twenty percent increase in the sale of compliance tracking tools, to help businesses save money.