As winter vacations come to a close, the global workforce is underway again, and there are several questions business and corporate travelers have regarding their upcoming costs of travel and stay. Among the many factors, the future of international business travel remains uncertain due to the prolonged set back in the Chinese economy, the United Kingdom’s monumental vote to depart from the European Union, the controversial U.S. Presidential election, and increased security concerns across the globe. However, despite the uncertainties, global demand for air travel remains at a record high.
According to the Global Business Travel Forecast 2017 by American Express Global Business Travel, it is expected that business travel will remain similar to trends in 2016, with narrow increases in overall pricing. Due to low fuel prices and moderate economic growth in Europe and Asia, air inflation will remain at a minimum. Although 2017 is expected to have relatively stable and similar airfare prices as the prior year, there will be higher costs for business travelers who are booking flights at the last minute, as well as an increase in ancillary fees and premium cabin options.
Technology trends have been a highlight of 2016, and will continue to be in 2017. The global hospitality industry has seen large shifts in hotels willing to offer complimentary wifi and other technology benefits that will appeal to business travelers and customers. Another technology development that will increase the competitiveness for hotels is the use of smartphones as room keys, television remotes, and thermostat controls. It is anticipated that hotel performance will improve and prices will remain stable in most regions of the world, with the exception of Latin America, where rates are expected to decline slightly, and Asia Pacific, where the impacts will vary immensely across countries.