Expert insights

Price predictions: what business travel will cost in 2017

8 February 2017

Find out what’s in store for business costs in 2017 and the factors that the experts think you should look out for.

It’s good news for budget-holders: the cost of business travel in 2017 is likely to stay relatively stable, according to experts.

According to the 2017 Global Travel Price Outlook study, despite some global political uncertainty, air, hotel, ground and meetings and events prices will remain around the same rate as those charged this year. The predictions were made by the Global Business Travel Association.

Flight cost predictions

Due to lower fuel prices and competitions between airlines, flight prices are expected to change only slightly over the next year.

However, continental variations are expected. The Global Business Travel Forecast 2017 has estimated that we will see cheaper flight costs to Latin America due to overcapacity and declining local currency values. They also predict that North America could see a slight increase in fares, and if coupled with low oil prices, this will enable North American airlines to reinvest in products and services.

Hotel cost predictions

Despite 2016 seeing major hotel mergers – most notably Marriott International’s $13bn purchase of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide – the study indicates that the impact on hotel prices will not be felt until 2018.

Geopolitical issues will also affect the global variation of hotel rates. It is predicted that fears of terrorist activity and the uncertainty of Brexit, will impact pricing in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Western Europe’s prices are expected to increase slightly, while the Middle East and Africa’s rates will fall marginally.

Transportation cost prediction

The ground transportation sector should stay the same due to an intensely competitive climate. However, you should expect the price of car hire in Europe to fall over time as companies investigate eco-friendly technology to attract the corporate market.

Meeting and events cost prediction

In terms of the costs of meetings and events, Asia Pacific and North America will witness modest increases in cost per attendee per day. Group sizes are predicted to rise slightly for events Asia Pacific, Europe and North America, as more of us look to host our delegates overseas.

While overall the report predicts little or no cost increases among the four sectors, it does highlight factors you should watch out for heading into 2017. The effects of Brexit, fluctuating oil prices and changes in US interest rates are all expected to impact prices and the global economy. In order to combat these effects, Jeanne Liu, GBTA Foundation vice president for research states, “for 2017, the key to building successful travel programs will be watching and reacting to an ever-changing global landscape”.

Your travel management company could help you save money on your team’s business travel, thanks to industry knowledge and connections with the world’s leading travel and event brands.

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