Things are looking up in
the business travel market for next year. According to the National
Business Travel Association, costs of air fare, hotel rooms, car
rentals and food -- the staples of the corporate travel budgets --
are all going up.
According to the 2008
National Business Travel Association Forecast, compiled by travel
analyst Jorge Caamano, overall costs for corporate travelers are
expected to rise between 6% and 8% next year -- assuming that
business travel growth continues amid a healthy economy.
globalization will underpin growth as well, the NTBA forecast
also anticipated significant downsides.
A strong potential
for inflation, continued fluctuations in oil prices, detrimental
impacts on the U.S. economy from rising spending due to the war in
Iraq, and the crash of the sub-prime real estate market, all factor
in as potential problems for business travel planners as they
survey costs and prepare budgets for 2008.
Published air fares,
the NBTA said, will likely lead the rising costs with a 6% to 10%
increase if predictions hold that flight prices will approach the
level they reached in 2001, prior to 9/11. Parity with 2001 air
fares would mean a 10% increase in air travel costs over 2007, the
Published hotel and
car rental rates are expected to rise by 5% to 7%, and the cost of
meals and incidentals purchased by corporate travelers is likely to
go up by 7% to 9%, the forecast predicted.
From a survey of its
members, the NBTA says that only 10% of corporate travel buyers
expect 2008 spending to remain at levels similar to 2007. Some 73%
said they expect their spending to increase by 5% to
This week, American
Express released its annual Global Business Travel Forecast with
contact reporter Dan Luzadder, send e-mail to [email protected].