Business travel rates for UK buyers will rise only moderately in 2014, according to American Express.
Amex’s annual Global Business Travel Forecast predicts single digit increases across air, hotel and ground transport next year, with some rates in both air fares and accommodation actually falling.
Sebastien Marchon, Amex’s director, Global Business Consulting said the UK finance sector was underpinning demand, helping it to bypass challenges that other European countries still faced but added:
“From a supplier perspective, low-cost carriers continue to put pressure on short-haul prices and companies now see low-cost carriers as a natural choice for shorter routes. However, legacy carriers on long-haul routes are building alliances to reduce the number of transatlantic competitors, so long-haul economy and business fares are likely to increase more.”
Amex predicts short-haul business class fares will fall by up to 1 per cent or rise no more than 2 per cent. Long-haul business fares will be static or rise by up to 3 per cent. Short-haul economy shows a similar trend, with fares frozen or a maximum 2 per cent rise.
UK hotel trends show mid-level increases, with up to 6 per cent in the mid-range and 4 per cent in the upper price bracket. UK car rental prices are expected to amount to no more than 3 per cent, due to strong competition, Amex said, with big players keen to maintain their market share.
Globally, the picture is broadly the same, although Latin American hotel prices are predicted to rise in the 3-8 per cent range and short-haul business class fares in North America are predicted to fall sharply, from -8 to -13 per cent.