2010 Business Travel Forecast

Business travel forcast 2010

Following this weakened demand in 2009, Business Travel expects a pent up need for travel and meetings to be unleashed in 2010. Fuel prices, along with sustained signs of a restarting economy, could also generate slight up-ticks in travel category prices worldwide, particularly in Asia Pacific.

"As the world begins to show signs of emerging from the recession, businesses are adapting to a fundamental shift in thinking focused on proving the value of travel and every employee connection," said Hervé Sedky, vice president and general manager, Business Travel. "Heading into 2010, companies will need to consider the impact of these changes in mindset, particularly as projected rate increases in key travel categories gain momentum."

North America – Air - Hotel - Car Forecast and Trends

Overall, business travel growth is predicted to be up one percent for the U.S. and 15 percent for Canada in 2010. Airline routes and capacity reductions made in the region in an effort to equalize the decrease in demand in 2009 are expected to force prices up in North America in 2010, higher than most other global regions. Hotel rates are expected to remain on the decline in North America as a whole as hoteliers fight to attract both business and consumer travelers back. Car rental rates will likely increase slightly as the cost of vehicles is expected to rise following decreases in capacity in 2009 and car manufacturing consolidation driving up the cost of replacing relatively old fleets.

Europe – Air Hotel Car Forecast and Trends

As companies looked for ways to curb travel costs, many companies in Europe trading down from traditional airlines to low cost carriers. Overall airlines in Europe saw declines in volume and while demand is expected to grow in 2010, fares are expected to decline in the first half of the year as airlines compete for market-share. While hotel rate changes will likely vary by country, it is expected that rates will only increase modestly at best in Europe in 2010. Opposite the trend in the U.S. to unbundle services however, European hotels are giving travelers additional amenities as a means to attract their business and loyalty and retain price levels.

Latin America & Air Hotel Forecast and Trends

In Latin America there has been upward pressure on rates as some carriers reduced the number and size of aircrafts servicing some routes and consolidated others. Increases that may have been possible through these measures are challenged, though, as capacity at less expensive airports increased, online travel agencies entered the market, and business travelers increased usage of car rental or bus. This will likely continue to have an impact in 2010, with projected airfare changes ranging from negative three percent up to two percent. Hotel rates are expected to continue to decline, similar to North America hotels having a more difficult time with managing capacity. “The 2010 Forecast clearly underscores that the complexity of managing business travel and understanding the underlying dynamics of the industry and supply base only becomes more challenging as economic conditions change and business opportunity is global,” said Christa Degnan Manning, director, expert insights research for Business Travel Global Advisory Services. The forecasts and projections provided in this report are based on information gathered from Business Travel believes to be reliable, no representation or warranty is made as to the accuracy of the forecasts or projections made herein. In addition, actual changes in business travel costs could vary significantly from foretasted data, particularly as a result of unforeseen future political, economic and/or environmental events.