Country-specific, rather than global, economic trends are expected to contribute to a “slight” uptick in business travel prices within specific regions. This is a key finding of the latestAmerican Express (AMEX)Global Business Travel Forecast 2014, which notes subdued global economic growth is not likely to impact business travel demand.
It also indicates supply-side dynamics, including more low-cost carrier options, weaker demand for business class air travel due to more stringent corporate policies, and lack of new hotel construction, or oversupply in some areas, across specific regions are all factors expected to have a greater impact on pricing changes.
The forecast provides subscribers with 2,100 pricing predictions across airfares, hotel rates, and car rental rates in the Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and Asia Pacific (APAC), as well as related travel management programme recommendations.
“In the UK, business travel rates are predicted to rise modestly, with low- and mid-single digit increases across air, hotel and ground transport,” says Director of Global Business Consulting at American Express Global Business Travel, Sebastien Marchon (pictured). “Looking at the air category, the UK’s finance sector has largely bypassed the challenges of the major EU countries, contributing to the demand for short- and long-haul business traffic.
“From a supplier perspective, low-cost carriers continue
to put pressure on short-haul prices and companies now see low-cost carriers as
a natural choice for shorter routes. However, legacy carriers on long-haul
routes are building alliances to reduce the number of transatlantic
competitors, so long-haul economy and business fares are likely to increase
In response to these observations, the forecast predicts that UK short-haul business class fares are predicted to decrease by up to two per cent, whereas UK short-haul economy fares are predicted to see potential increases of up to 2.5 per cent. Long-haul fares in the UK are expected to see increases of up to four per cent.
The UK remains as vibrant a destination as ever and hotel use remains steady, particularly in London. The forecast predicts mid-level increases in 2014, up to five per cent for the mid-range hotels and up to 4.5 per cent for the upper-range hotels.