2012 Travel Forecast: Up, Up and Away

Balloon Money Expect modest increases in North America; Latin America, Asia Pacific will see significant price hikes

Expect to pay more for business travel this year. So, what else is new? Well, the good news is that domestically, those price hikes won’t feel too bad. But if you regularly travel to Latin America or Asia, expect to pay more, especially for hotels, in 2012.

North America
In North America, business airfares are projected to increase between 3 percent and 7 percent, with the biggest increase coming on short haul trips, according to the American Express Global Business Travel Forecast.

And once your flight lands, expect to see mild increases in hotel pricing—for mid-range hotels between 2 and 6 percent and anywhere from 1 to 5 percent for upper-range properties.

“To mitigate price increases in hotels in 2012, travel managers could benefit from benchmarking rates by property tier and city as supply pipelines and travel
demand vary by location,” says Christa Degnan Manning, director of Expert Insights Research, American Express Global Business Travel.

Meanwhile, Carlson Wagonlit’s 2012 Travel Price Forecast echoes those North American numbers put forth by Amex. CWT forecasts airline pricing to increase around 4 percent in 2012, due to suppliers’ disciplined efforts to manage capacity even in the face of increased demand, ultimately resulting in fuller planes
and rising prices overall, according to Nick Vournakis, vice president, CWT Solutions Group.