As U.S. business travel gets busy in 2022, expect higher costs
Pent-up demand for travel from two years of COVID-19 doldrums is bringing hotel rates in the United States within reach of—and often beyond—2019 performance levels.
“The U.S. was tracking close to pre-pandemic levels” when the country in November lifted its ban on international travel, said BCD Travel Vice President and hotel practice lead Laura Kusto. “In December, we saw that gap close,” she added. Read more
Socio-Economic issues cause price volatility in Latin America
Beat Wille, who started his role as SVP and managing director of Latin America for BCD Travel in 2021: “[At the end of last year] we were almost to 50 percent of pre-COVID levels in the region, with different countries at different rates and paces,” he said, adding that omicron slowed that down. “We hope to end up around 50 percent of pre-COVID levels [again] by the end of February. Looking forward to 2022, we hope to be between 70 percent to 80 percent [recovered].”
There was some variance among regional segments. Central America and the Caribbean, for example, have higher international percentages because domestic travel is low in those areas, so they are “slow to start with,” Wille said. “Then markets like Mexico, Colombia and Brazil always have a higher percentage of domestic on the corporate side.” Read more
Middle East, Africa set for 2022 business travel recovery
African airlines continue to face financial difficulties [as well], with AFRAA projecting they lost $8.6 billion in revenue last year due to the pandemic and will lose an additional $4.9 billion this year. Several African carriers are facing or are emerging from bankruptcy, South Africa Airways is among the largest, having restarted service in September. Air Madagascar and Air Seychelles each entered bankruptcy protection, and Air Namibia ceased operations altogether, said Olivier Benoit, principal and vice president of BCD Travel consulting arm Advito.
There have also been some new entrants, including Ethiopian Airways-backed Zambia Airways, low-cost Nigerian carrier Green African Airways and United Nigeria Airlines, and Nigeria expects to launch a new national carrier, Nigeria Air, next year. “There is definitely a growing demand from these African countries,” Benoit said.
Overall, BCD Travel has seen hotel occupancy in the Middle East “tracking close to pre-pandemic levels,” Advito VP and global hotel practice lead Laura Kusto said. Read more
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