Travel costs to rise in 2018, says leading travel management company

The cost of both flights and hotel accommodation is projected to rise by an average of 3.6%, according to a new 2018 global travel forecast by a leading travel management company.

The price of airline tickets is expected to increase globally by 3.5% because of a rise in oil prices and inflation. European flights are expected to rise even more – by 8.5% in eastern Europe and 5.5% in western Europe.

The price hikes are predicted to occur despite several airlines adding extra seats to their aircraft in order to increase capacity and cut costs.

Hotels in Europe are also likely to introduce price hikes above the global average, with a 6.6% rise in eastern Europe and 6.3% in western Europe, compared to just 0.6% in the Middle East and Africa.

Russia is one of the countries where room rates are likely to increase the most – by 11.9% on average – as a result of the country hosting the 2018 World Cup.

Ground transportation rates are forecast to rise by only 1.6% next year but by 5.5% by 2022.

Sharing economy players such as Uber and Lyft are expected to continue double-digit growth upwards of 10% in 2018, before settling down into single-digit growth for 2019. Their growth is under threat by costly regulation and government bans.

Kurt Ekert, president and chief executive of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, which conducted the report with the research arm of the Global Business Travel Association, said: “The higher pricing is a reflection of the stronger economy and growing demand.

“The global numbers from this forecast should be considered strong leading indicators of what 2018 will mean for global businesses, as we anticipate higher spending.”

GBTA Foundation research vice president Jeanne Liu said: “Geopolitical risks, uncertainties in emerging markets and ever-changing political environments in Europe and the United States mean today’s travel professionals have more than ever to take into account when building their travel programmes.

“The most successful programmes will have to keep a watchful eye on both geopolitical risks and a rapidly-changing supplier landscape as they reevaluate strategy often and adapt as necessary.”

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