American Express Offers 2013 Forecast

business travelerGlobal economic uncertainty – particularly due to the fiscal crisis in Europe and deceleration of growth in China – is expected to curtail business travel demand and keep rates in mature markets, as well as in China, relatively flat, according to the American Express Global Business Travel Forecast 2013. Prices globally will  increase only modestly, Amex says.

“We are expecting a dynamic landscape for business travel in 2013, with prices likely rising to reflect companies’ interest in doing business in growing economies such as Brazil, India, and Russia, but staying flat or even declining in those markets where growth is stagnant,” said Hervé Sedky, senior vice president and general manager, global business partnerships, American Express Global Business Travel. 

“Our forecast helps companies understand where in the world and in which categories prices will likely increase and by how much, so they can make smart and informed decisions about how their investment in business travel is best allocated," Sedky said.

The Global Business Travel Forecast 2013 provides nearly 2,600 predictions across air fares, hotel rates, and car rental rates in 29 countries. This year, the report adds four new markets (Italy, Poland, Russia, and South Korea) and introduces predictions for published air fares in addition to paid fares, since understanding this gap is integral to companies looking to effectively manage their business travel programs in today’s marketplace, Amex says. 

Americas Highlights: While only conservative increases in pricing are expected in North America (the U.S. and Canada), American Express Global Business Travel predicts Latin America’s strong economies and resulting consistent travel demand to likely result in robust price increases in that region in 2013. 

In North America, despite uncertainty resulting from the upcoming U.S. presidential election and economic discord in Europe, steady trip demand and capacity discipline is expected to drive increases in business-class air fares of 1 – 3 percent for both short- and long-haul routes, Amex says.

Economy fares vary, with short-haul routes predicted to rise 2 – 4 percent and long-haul route pricing staying flat at (-1) – 2 percent. Although limited numbers of hotel rooms are expected to be added in 2013, moderate occupancy growth is nevertheless expected to drive increases of 2 – 7 percent in mid-range hotel rates and 4 – 9 percent in upper-range hotel rates. 

Increased competition is predicted to drive car rental rates down, although the average daily rate is expected to rise slightly due to some increases in ancillary fees, Amex reports.  


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