Business Travel Growth Slows in April



(c) 2011 Pegasus Solutions

According to data released by Pegasus Solutions, business travel suffered a temporary slow-down in April. The Japan and New Zealand earthquakes, political unrest in the Middle East, and the Easter holiday all conspired to slow the double-digit growth corporate bookings and revenue had experienced in March. Corporate bookings and revenue only grew 0.3 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively.

The slow down in business travel, however, looks as though it may be temporary. Average daily travel rates, length of stay, and booking lead times all rose for business travel, and the leisure travel sector was even stronger.

“Many factors around the world affected travel markets in April, which translated into a dip for corporate travel and a boon for the leisure sector,” said Mike Kistner, CEO of Pegasus Solutions. “On the horizon, though, both segments look to experience increases over 2010 for the next several months. The fundamentals driving corporate travel recovery – overall economies, corporate earnings, business trips and meetings/conference travel – are improving and increasing, while pent-up consumer demand and slow room supply growth portend a better summer travel season than last year’s.”

The favorable timing of Easter this April contributed to stronger growth in the leisure travel sector. Leisure bookings rose 9.8 percent and revenue rose 13.2 percent. Average daily rates increased 2.5 percent, and this rate is expected to continue into the summer. It is likely that consumers will take more trips in 2011 versus 2010, but that those trips may be shorter to trim costs.


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