Business Travelers Prepare: Airfare and Hotel Rates Increase Internationally

Business travelers have already noticed that rates have jumped for travel within North America in 2010: domestic air fares up 39% for business class and 21% for economy. This trend will continue in 2011, but at a lower pace, according to an American Express Business Travel report. Hotel rates are also expected to increase between […]

Business travelers have already noticed that rates have jumped for travel within North America in 2010: domestic air fares up 39% for business class and 21% for economy. This trend will continue in 2011, but at a lower pace, according to an American Express Business Travel report.

Hotel rates are also expected to increase between 1-6% in 2011, but some markets are expected to rise above 10%.

And these projections don’t include the new charges that were established – mostly by airlines – for “ancillary” services, such as meals, baggage, seat selection and other similar items.

The Asia Pacific region is considered the biggest growth market in business travel, and it’s worth noting that most eyes should be focused on China.

It’s projected that China business travel will grow by double digits in 2011 and add nearly $130 billion in new spend by 2014. Rates will be going up along with occupancy there as businesses look for ways to capitalize on its growth.

The bottom line is that the favorable pricing from the last two years is about to end, effectively bringing prices back to pre-recession levels.

According to American Express Business Travel (October 2010):

Global — 2011 Forecast
Region Airfares Hotel Rates
Domestic/Short-Haul (Economy Class) International/ Long-Haul (Business Class) Mid-Range Upper-Range
North America  2% to 6% 3% to 7% 1% to 5% 2% to 6%
Europe/Middle East  4% to 9% 5% to 9% 1% to 6% 2% to 6%
Latin America  3% to 7% 3% to 8% 1% to 5% 2% to 6%
Asia-Pacific  3% to 8% 5% to 10% 5% to 10% 5% to 10%
Rob is editor of Business Travel Destinations. He was voted among the top 10 business travel bloggers by USA TODAY 10Best. Rob reviews international destinations for meetings and events -- where business travelers go, the hotels where they stay and their lifestyle preferences on the road. He spent more than a decade planning hundreds of corporate events throughout the U.S. for a Fortune 50 company, including meetings, conferences, seminars, executive retreats and other special events. Rob was previously the event planning guide for About.com (owned by The New York Times Company) from 2007 - 2011. His articles have appeared in business travel publications and travel sites internationally.