Strong global economy means higher travel costs in 2019, predicts Global Travel Forecast

Hotel prices to rise 3.7% and flights 2.6%, caused by a buoyant global economy and rising oil prices, says report by GBTA and CWT.

The price of travel will go up sharply in 2019, according to the fifth annual Global Travel Forecast from Carlson Wagonlit (CWT) and the Global Business Travel Assocation (GBTA).

They predict that a strong global economy will cause hotel prices to rise 3.7%, and flight pirces to rise 2.6%.  

"While most major markets appear to be trending in the right direction, downside risks remain for the global economy, given the rise of protectionist policies, the risk of stoking trade wars and Brexit uncertainty," said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO.

 

2019 air projections

  • The aviation sector will be shaped by the introduction of ultra-long-haul flights and an increasing competition from the low-cost carriers, which are not only multiplying but also fighting for long-haul routes – and by the airlines’ push towards new distribution capability (NDC)

  • Airfares are likely to become more expensive due to rising oil prices, the competitive pressure from the shortage of pilots, potential trade wars, and increasing fare segmentation to improve yield

  • Asia Pacific expects to see a 3.2% rise in 2019 pricing. Chinese demand remains high and by 2020 the country is expected to become the world’s biggest air travel market. Prices for Japan will likely drop 3.9% due to the country’s added capacity in preparation for the Olympic Games in 2020

  • Across Europe, Middle East & Africa, air travel is expected to continue growing in Western Europe, with prices rising 4.8%

  • Prices across Latin America are expected to drop 2% in 2019. However, México and Colombia will see slight increases –0.1% and 1.2% respectively – while Chile will experience a rise of 7.5%

  • North America will see prices rise by a modest 1.8%. The US aviation market is expected to see capacity compression due to expanded fare fragmentation, with premium economy and basic economy reducing available seats, as carriers target margin improvement

  • 2019 hotel projections 

    • Increase in air travel will fuel demand for rooms, with hotels introducing new tech developments to personalise the guest experience

    • Further hotel mergers are expected along with a growing appetite for boutique accommodation among younger travellers

    • In Asia Pacific, hotel prices are likely to rise 5.1% –with a large discrepancy as Japanese prices are expected to fall 3.2%, but New Zealand is set to rise 11.8%

    • Mirroring air prices, hotel rates across Europe, Middle East & Africa are expected to rise in Western Europe 5.6%, while declining 1.9% in Eastern Europe and 1.5% in the Middle East & Africa

    • Within Latin America, hotel prices are expected to fall 1.3%. However, Chile, Peru and Mexico are expected to see 6.4%, 2.1%, and 0.6% increases, respectively

    • In North America hotel prices will go up 2.1% -- 5% in Canada and 2.7% in the US

    "Prices are expected to spike in many global markets even as inflation remains subdued," said Kurt Ekert, president and CEO, Carlson Wagonlit Travel.

    "The future of corporate travel can be summed up as accelerated personalisation – with mobile technology, AI, machine learning and predictive analytics all playing their part. Success is tied to technology, with sophisticated data-crunching at the very heart of it."

     

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