Global Ground Transportation to Continue Flat Pricing

Car rental lot at an airport in the U.K. Photo via Wikimedia.
Car rental lot at an airport in the U.K. Photo via Wikimedia.

New Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) research highlights six risks heading into 2017 that could impact both travel industry prices and the global economy as a whole. These risks include emerging market performance, financial market turbulence, geopolitical risks, uncertainty surrounding Brexit, potentially fluctuating U.S. interest rates, and oil prices.

“While business travel repeatedly demonstrates its resilience, the high level of global uncertainty we face heading into 2017 means travel buyers have to be more nimble and flexible than ever in crafting travel programs,” said Jeanne Liu, vice president for research for the GBTA Foundation. “The outlook shows only marginal increases or flat travel prices, but for 2017, the key to building successful travel programs will be watching and reacting to an ever-changing global landscape.”

These findings come from the “2017 Global Travel Price Outlook,” research from the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the GBTA, and travel management company Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT). The third annual report provides global, regional, and country-by-country projections for air travel, hotel, ground transportation, and meetings and events prices in 2017.

For the global ground transportation sector, a competitive climate will dictate continued flat pricing, according to the report. Asia-Pacific prices are expected to increase slightly by 0.8% while the EMEA is projected to remain flat across the board — with a small 0.1% decrease expected in Western Europe. In North America, prices are projected to remain flat in 2017. For LATAM, prices are expected to edge forward by 0.5%.

“We are seeing relatively low, inconsistent, and in some cases fragile economic growth,” said Kurt Ekert, president and CEO of CWT. “Travelers and travel managers need to understand their travel patterns and spend, and be alert to the impact of economic uncertainty and volatility. Proper planning will put them in position to make changes when necessary and to avoid downside financial risk.”

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