American Express Reports Q2 Business Travel Monitor Results for North America

At the National Business Travel Association Conference, American Express Business Travel, a global leader in business travel management, released its North America Business Travel Monitor (BTM) data and analysis including domestic and international airfare, hotel rates, and car rental prices paid for the second quarter of 2009.

Highlights of the Q2 BTM included the following:

  • Average international airfares paid decreased 19 percent year-over-year
  • Average domestic airfares paid decreased 18 percent year-over-year
  • Average international booked hotel rates decreased 12 percent year-over-year, but increased 6 percent from Q1 to Q2
  • Average domestic booked hotel rates remained flat year-over-year, but decreased 2 percent from Q1 to Q2
  • Car rental rates posted slight decrease of 3 percent in Q2 2009 both from the previous quarter and the prior year

“Despite widespread discounting and trading down in business travel, we are seeing a leveling in pricing and even an uptick in some areas in our Q2 versus Q1 data, as well as, in our monthly BTM data," said Christa Manning, director, eXpert Insights and Research, Global Advisory Services, American Express Business Travel. "With demand still down significantly versus last year there are many savings opportunities in the market for savvy procurement and travel management professionals. Its a critical time for companies to have an aggressively managed business travel program to help lock in competitive rates and effectively control costs while keeping travelers on the road." Car Rental Rates Post Slight Quarterly Decrease of Three Percent in Q2 2009:
In Q2 2009, the overall cost of car rental decreased slightly from Q1, which can be attributed to difficult economic conditions which have led to changes in company and traveler behavior. An overall lower demand and reduced pricing is the net result of these conditions. Also contributing are slightly reduced inventories at the rental car companies and rental firms aggressively negotiating with corporate buyers to lock in more consistent volumes of business.

Average daily cost of car rental:
2004 - $65
2005 - $66
2006 - $69
2007 - $72
2008 - $74
Q1 ’09 - $73
Q2 ’09 - $71

The American Express Business Travel Monitor can also be accessed through a subscription to eXpert Insights, a dedicated research practice within Global Advisory Services, created to help companies cut the costs of business trips dramatically by identifying and implementing best practices and creative strategies within their T&E programs.

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