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8 February 2012 | Angeline Albert
Purchasers will face higher hotel and flight fares in 2012, delegates at the Business Travel Show in London heard yesterday.
On day one of the show at London’s Earl Court, buyers were told to expect prices across all categories of travel to be far higher this year, in comparison to 2011.
Amanda Kotenko, vice-president and head of client management at global travel services UK at American Express said at the show’s ‘forecasting forum’ session that corporate buyers will pay as much as 6.5 per cent more for US hotel prices due to GDP growth in this region.
Europe’s hotel prices will also rise in 2012 by between 1-5 per cent. UK hotel prices are forecast to be the second-highest in Europe, rising by between 3.1 and 7.3 per cent, mainly as a result of the Olympics in London this summer.
The price of Asia’s hotels will increase in 2012 by between 6-10 per cent particularly in Singapore and Hong Kong, with supply falling behind demand.
In light of the increasing cost pressures, purchasers were advised that updated travel policies were the key to managing costs in this category.
Kotenko said: “American Express has analysed 100 travel policies of corporations and found that less than 30 policies had been reviewed in the past 12 months. This is a missed opportunity. Prices are going up and buyers could be controlling their travel policies more.”
Kotenko added: “We also expect the number of meetings to increase but be closer to home and greener.”
More purchasers are expected to attend talks today, the final day of the show.