While many companies require frequent business travel, many still opt for ground transportation. Although average aircraft business travelers have taken 15 flights within the past six months, corporate air travel has taken a hit during 2016.
According to Advito’s 2017 industry forecast report, corporate air travel will increase with lower airfare prices.
The global economy remained stagnant in 2016. Partnered with the current strength of the U.S. dollar and fears of terrorist activity, many companies reduced their travel expenses this past year.
As Brazil is expected to emerge from a recession — likely due, in part, to the Olympic Games in Rio — and with other Latin American countries following suit, the global economy is en route to a higher performance next year.
With increased competition among low-cost airlines and major carriers, airfare rates will remain low for American travelers. This turn of events is expected to push business travelers back to flying as well. Unfortunately, though, hotel and lodging rates are expected to rise in the coming year, which could, in turn, counteract the benefits of low-cost air travel.
“With negotiating [lodging] options narrowing for corporate clients, we expect rates to rise in 2017 by 3 to 5% in the U.S., with smaller increases for hotels in Canada and Mexico,” Advito’s report said.
An outline of the report states which areas of the globe will see changes in travel patterns next year. At the top of the list is South America, as Latin countries are still in a state of economic revival. Business flights will remain cheap, and hotel rates will decrease in order to increase business destination demand.
Asia will see higher hotel rates than most other areas, as corporate travel demand is already high in urban centers like Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. However, due to a 38% increase in air capacity between the U.S. and China this past year, as well as smaller airline’s new abilities to operate internationally, airfares to secondary cities within China and Japan have dropped significantly. The cost of tickets to and from India will likely drop as well in 2017.