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Costlier Business Trips in 2019 Due to Fuel Prices, Growing Economy

Corporate travel is expected to become costlier in 2019 due to a growing global economy and rising oil prices, according to the 5th annual Global Travel Forecast, published by GBTA (Global Business Travel Association) and CWT with the support of the Carlson Family Foundation.

According to the study, travel prices are set to rise next year, with hotel rates increasing by 3.7 percent and flights by 2.6 percent.

“Prices are expected to spike in many global markets even as inflation remains subdued,” said Kurt Ekert, president and CEO, Carlson Wagonlit Travel.

According to the same report, hotels are expected to do some heavy business in 2019, driven by the overall increase in air travel, but will have to boost mobile penetration and personalize the guest experience.

“The future of corporate travel can be summed up as accelerated personalization – with mobile technology, AI, machine learning and predictive analytics all playing their part,” said Ekert.

At the same time, air fares are expected to rise due to steeper oil prices, pressure from the shortage of pilots, potential trade wars and increasing fare segmentation.

In the same direction, hotel rates are set to rise by 5.6 percent in Western Europe, but decline by 1.9 percent in Eastern Europe and by 1.5 percent in the Middle East & Africa.

In terms of markets, China is likely to see flights rise by 3.9 percent, and by 2020, the country is expected to become the world’s biggest air travel market, while prices in Japan are estimated at dropping by 3.9 percent due to the country’s added capacity in preparation for the Olympic Games in 2020.

Air travel will continue to grow in Western Europe, with prices rising 4.8 percent and particularly in Norway (11.5 percent), Germany (7.3 percent), France (6.9 percent) and Spain (6.7 percent). Eastern Europe and the Middle East and African countries, on the other hand, will see a 2.3 percent and 2 percent decline, respectively.

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