01 February 2007
Buyers will face big rises in business travel costs this year, according to a survey.
The American Express Global Business Travel Forecast expects air fares to go up between 3 and 7 per cent this year. Hotel prices in Europe are also expected to increase between 2 and 6 per cent. Hotel rates in the Asia-Pacific region could rise by up to 25 per cent.
The increase in air fares is attributed to more passenger traffic and rising fuel costs. Yet greater capacity and the continued growth of low-cost carriers should stop fares climbing too high, according to the survey. But it also predicts
that rising demand for hotels will leave them with the confidence to increase rates.
Mike Streit, vice-president and global leader for American Express Business Travel, said: "We anticipate that more firms will ramp up their procurement focus."
Paul Tilstone, executive director of the Institute of Travel Management, said buyers should build relationships to get the best deal, not try to drive down price.