Business hotel prices will rise steadily in most areas of the world in 2012, a survey by American Express has concluded.
Speaking at the Business Travel Show today, Amanda Kotenko, Amex Business Travel’s vice president and head of client management of global travel services, said: “We are predicting that prices will be rising across all travel categories in 2012, even with the economic uncertainty.”
Amex’s survey of more than 2,000 respondents showed that US rates were up between 1.5% and 6.5%, driven by GDP growth.
However, Kotenko said there were some exceptions to this in localised depressed economies. “Places like Detroit and Phoenix stand out in particular,” she said.
She put rate increases in Latin America at 1-6% driven by the failure of supply to keep pace with demand, particularly from domestic sources.
The star performer was Asia, where rates are up 6-10%. “Supply growth is strong, but not as strong as demand,” she said.
In Europe, Amex recorded growth of 1-5%, driven largely by hotels trying to recover rates following the recession. However, this was mitigated by continued concerns about the economy and worries about the euro.
The Middle East is seeing rate rises of 1-3%. The region is dominated by Dubai which has over-supply with “many more” properties in the pipeline.
Kotenko said Amex expected an increase in the number of meetings this year, but added: “They will be more likely smaller, closer to home and potentially greener in nature.”
The coming year will also see increases in short-haul air fares following the absorption of Bmi by British Airways. Kotenko said consolidation was already being reflected in the market generally.
“We are seeing higher than average growth in short-haul from the UK because of the lack of competition and growth in the market.”