Airfare prices are slowly climbing in markets with the strongest demand, according to BCD Travel’s midyear update to its 2018 Industry Forecast. Meanwhile, the outlook for global hotel rates in 2018 remains unchanged with a predicted 2-4% increase compared to last year.
Since the travel management company’s 2018 Industry Forecast was originally issued in September 2017, strong global air travel demand and rising oil prices have pushed up airfares. “While our initial forecasts for 2018 remain largely on target, intercontinental economy airfares will increase slightly more than our original forecast as the global economy continues to strengthen,” said Charuta Fadnis, BCD Travel’s senior director of research and analytics.
The Industry Forecast reviews airfares in seven major regions for regional and intercontinental flights in business and economy classes, as well as projections for average daily hotel rates and economic growth assumptions. The update also takes a closer look at some emerging trends of interest to corporate travel buyers, including:
Airlines are eager to lower distribution costs and develop better ways of marketing their offerings across their own sales channels. Some major European-based airline groups, such as Lufthansa Group and two IAG airlines (British Airways and Iberia), have started to levy surcharges for tickets bought through non-direct channels. Air France-KLM will follow suit soon. This has led to increased costs for corporate customers buying tickets through third-party channels, like global distribution systems (GDSs). The report explores the implications and impacts.
Travel and expense integration
About 60% of companies surveyed by BCD Travel use an online booking tool (OBT) and the same proportion have introduced an expense management system (EMS). Yet less than a third of those companies have integrated the two. Implementing an end-to-end system helps improve travelers’ trip experiences and corporate program effectiveness. The update dives into options and advantages.
Download the full 2018 Industry Forecast update and ask your account manager how BCD Travel can help you prepare your corporate travel program for what’s ahead.