Stats: Steady International Business Trip Costs in Q1 2017

Businessman Walking Toward Airplane
Photo by Ryan McVay/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Travel Leaders Corporate released an analysis of its clients' aggregate business travel bookings from the first quarter of 2017.

The data shows that the average international trip cost (air, hotel and car) came in at $2,167 in Q1, which was on par with Q4 in 2016 and down 4 percent compared to the first quarter of 2016. Domestically, the average length of a trip is increasing, and so, too, is the average overall cost - increasing 5 percent, which represents the largest quarter over quarter increase since 2012. Additionally, Travel Leaders Corporate’s quarterly data showed an increase in average nightly hotel rates for 16 of the top 25 cities in the United States.

According to the data, quarter over quarter, the average cost of an international business trip is relatively flat. Looking at a longer historical view, there has been a sharp decline since late 2014. During that time span, the average cost (air, hotel and car) for an international business trip has decreased from $2,602 in Q4 2014 to $2,167 in Q1 2017 - a 17 percent decline. 

Travel Leaders Corporate Q1 2017 Infographic

Domestically, the average cost for a trip increased five percent to $988 in the first quarter of 2017 - the largest jump in five years. The average cost for a domestic airline ticket increased from $402 to $412, while the average hotel trip cost rose eight percent from $381 to $412. According to a release, this was driven partly by increases in airline costs and hotel stays. 

Travel Leaders Corporate also released data on hotel and car rental costs from the top 25 U.S. markets. 16 of those cities experienced an increase in average nightly rates, which also contributed to the higher total domestic trip cost. Phoenix's average hotel prices increased 26 percent, as did a host of Florida cities, including Fort Lauderdale (22 percent), Tampa (18 percent), Miami (16 percent) and Orlando (12 percent). 

Other key findings:

  • Airline Advanced Purchase: Travel Leaders Corporate’s first quarter data indicates that corporate travelers are split nearly evenly in each category of advanced purchasing of airline tickets: 0-six days before departure, seven-13 days before departure, 14-20 days before departure, and 21 or more days before departure. As a best practice, Travel Leaders Corporate recommends booking at least 14 days in advance for cost savings, and for those booking at least 21 days in advance, instead of 0-six days, there is an average price difference of $128. This data may be viewed here.
  • Rental Cars: The average daily rate for car rentals nationally is $38.11, a three percent drop from the last quarter and now the lowest average daily rate since 2010.
  • Trip Costs: Travel Leaders Corporate data on airline advanced purchases, and domestic and international unit and trip costs from air, car and hotel can be viewed here.
  • Hotel Rates: Travel Leaders Corporate data on the average nightly hotel rates in the top 25 U.S. markets can be viewed here.