CWT: Prices rise for business travellers as strong demand returns

10 Aug 2022 by Hannah Brandler
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Business travellers are set to see a rise in prices for air travel, hotel stays and rental cars in 2023.

The findings were predicted in the 2023 Global Business Travel Forecast, published by CWT, the B2B4E travel management platform and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

Patrick Andersen, CWT’s CEO, said that “demand for business travel and meetings is back with a vengeance”.

CWT says that the main causes of price growth are “rising fuel prices, labour shortages and inflationary pressures in raw material costs”. The predicted pricing, however, is “on the whole, on par with 2019” according to Andersen.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the risk of further Covid outbreaks are also mentioned within the report as putting pressure on the economy and business travel industry.

The report found that air fares are set to rise by 48.5 per cent in 2022, followed by an 8.4 per cent increase next year.

Corporate travellers are also buying more premium class tickets than last year, making up 6.2 per cent of all tickets purchased this year in comparison to 4.5 per cent in 2021. Before the pandemic, premium class tickets comprised over 7 per cent of all tickets purchased.

CWT 2023 Global Business Travel Forecast

Hotel rates are set for an 18.5 per cent increase this year, with an additional 8.2 per cent rise in 2023. Prices have already surpassed pre-pandemic levels in some areas, with the report adding that this is set to be the case globally by 2023.

There has been a 22 per cent rise in North America, and a forecast 31.8 per cent increase across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

While these rates were initially driven by leisure demand in 2021, group travel for corporate meetings and events and transient business travel is “gaining healthy pace, putting further pressure on average daily rates”.

CWT 2023 Global Business Travel Forecast

Meanwhile meetings and events expected to see a 25 per cent increase in cost-per-attendee this year compared to 2019, rising by a further 7 per cent in 2023.

The report explains that there is greater demand for events due to the rescheduling of cancelled events and the booking of meeting spaces for remote workers to gather in person.

The report also looked at car rental charges, which are increasing by 7.3 per cent this year, followed by 6.8 per cent in 2023.

On the positive side, the report highlights that businesses are ranking sustainability among their top priorities. It states:

“The report highlights greater visibility at the point of sale for greener travel options, as well as carbon foot-printing, and environmental impact assessment is an opportunity for the travel industry to actively assist in responsible choice-making.”

See the full report: 2023 Global Business Travel Forecast

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