Business travel increases, Amtrak asks for Money

Corporations Kick Off 2013 By Booking More Travel

Corporations started off the new year by booking more travel, according to Pegasus Solutions, a major processor of electronic hotel transactions.

January booking gains surged nearly 8% for the global hotel market, according to Pegasus. Rates increased 2.1% over the year before. In North America, corporate bookings increased 5.4% over 2012 and rates grew 2.3%.

Cayman Marriott

Business travel showed its biggest improvements outside North America; reservations for all other regions combined passed 2012 by 11.2%, according to Pegasus. (Source: Pegasus press release).

Hotels Should See Strong Revenues and Profits This Year

Despite fears about sequestration, the U.S. hotel industry should continue to see strong gains in both revenue and profits, according to the monthly edition of Hotel Horizons, produced by PKF Hospitality Research.

It projects a 6.1% increase in revenue per available room and a 10.2% boost on bottom-line net operating income. Although uncertainty about sequestration has tempered economic growth, it has not shut down lodging demand, according to R. Mark Woodworth, president of PKF-HR. It expects occupancy rates to increase by 1% and average daily rates to rise by 5%. (Source: PKF-HR press release).

Car and Rail

Amtrak Seeks More Federal Money for Investment, 17% Less for Operating Support

Amtrak is asking for more federal capital investment to improve and expand inter city passenger rail for fiscal year 2014, but is asking for 17% less in federal operating support.

Last year it covered 88% of its operating costs with ticket sales and other non-federal sources of income, up from 85% the preceding year. It is asking for more federal capital investment just over $2 billion to improve and expand inter city passenger rail. (Source: Amtrak press release).

Spotlight On…
Business Travel Sentiment

The Global Business Travel Association’s 2013 Industry Pulse for U.S. business travel buyers finds buyers are optimistic about travel in 2013 but bracing themselves for higher costs.

  • They expect prices to increase from 4.6% for domestic economy airfare to $492 per trip to 8.3% for international economy fares to $1,318 per trip.
  • They expect hotel rates to rise 3.7 % or $161 for domestic hotels and 8% or $297 for international hotels per night.
  • Most travel managers expect higher rates (65%) and airline fees (60%) will drive higher spending.
  • Two in five (42%) expect more trips to drive increased spending and 33% expect to spend more because they’re putting more travelers on the road.

Source: GBTA press release