American Express Global Business Travel Predicts Country-Specific Economic Trends And Supply-Side Dynamics To Drive Changes In Business Travel Prices In 2014

According to the American Express (NYSE:AXP) Global Business Travel Forecast 2014 (the “Forecast”), country-specific, rather than global, economic trends – such as Brazil’s preparation for upcoming global sporting events, Germany’s relative economic strength within the Eurozone and China’s slower but stabilizing growth – are expected to contribute to a slight uptick in business travel prices within specific regions. In addition, supply-side dynamics, including more low cost carrier options, weaker demand for business class air travel due to more stringent corporate policies and lack of new hotel construction (or oversupply in some areas) across specific regions are expected to have a greater impact on pricing changes. The Forecast provides subscribers with over 2,100 pricing predictions across airfares, hotel rates, and car rental rates in the Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and Asia Pacific (APAC), as well as related travel management program recommendations.

“In this environment we recommend travel managers emphasize access to relevant and reliable data and reporting in order to really understand their travel program and to help ensure their travel investments are allocated to support their overall business objectives,” said Janey Whiteside, Senior Vice President and General Manager, American Express Global Business Consulting & Solutions. “Gaining this understanding can in turn help improve supplier relationships, illuminate compliance gaps and ultimately help enable companies to remain flexible and nimble enough to adjust to changing travel and business environments.”

Global Snapshot
2014 Global Business Travel Forecast

Short Haul Business Class

Long Haul Business Class

Short Haul Economy

Long Haul Economy

Mid-Range Hotel

Upper-Range Hotel

Car Rental Rates
North America       -13 to -8%   3% to 6%   0 to 3%   -4% to 0%   2% to 5%   3.5% to 5.5%   1% to 1.5%
Latin America       -2% to 2%   2% to 5%   -2% to 1%   -3% to 0%   4% to 8%   3% to 7%   3% to 3.1%
EMEA       -1% to 2%   0% to 3%   0% to 2%   -2% to 1%   0.4% to 6%   -0.4% to 4.2%   0% to 2%
APAC       0% to 5%   1% to 5%   0% to 4%   -1% to 3%   0% to 6%   0% to 6%  

Country-levelpredictionsare includedin Forecast.

Americas Predictions & Dynamics

North America

Overall, North American business travelers can likely expect mixed price changes across travel categories in 2014. With minor exceptions, North American airfares are expected to decline in 2014 as a result of heightened competition from low cost carriers, challenging unemployment levels and corporate travel policies becoming more stringent in regard to business class travel. However, pending consolidation among major U.S. airlines may offset these expected declines.

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