In a report issued last week, the GBTA (Global Business Travel Association) warned corporate travel managers that business travel costs are expected to rise in 2019.
Hotel room rates are expected to rise by more than 5% in Asia and Europe and by 2.1% in North America. Hotels in Latin America may experience a dip of 1.3%. Hotel groups have reported an increase in revenue per available room in Asia and Europe this year.
Meanwhile, a strong global economy and rising oil prices will push up airfares. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) also cited strong global economy that drives demand for the possible 3.2% increase in airfares this year. In certain countries, including India, New Zealand, Norway, Germany, and Chile, costs are expected to rise by more than 7%.
Airline costs, including fuel and labour, have been rising and carriers attempt to increase the fares or add fuel surcharges to maintain margins.
Travel managers face a challenge to make ends meet, while maintaining the safety and comfort of business travelers. Given the nature and frequency of travel some employees are taking, corporate managers are factoring in comfort when trying to save money.
For example, a plane trip with layovers may cost less, but if the employee is too tired or burned out to work, the saving may not be worth it. Simple perks like more legroom and meal service may empower the travelers and be more productive.