The cost of business travel is forecast to rise next year led by higher air fares.


Overall business travel spending in the UK is predicted to rise 5.1% in 2015.


Air prices in the UK are forecast to increase by 1%, while hotel prices will increase by 3.5%. Ground transportation prices are expected to decline by 0.5%.


Travel managers are prepared for overall price increases, with those surveyed by the Global Business Travel Association expecting air fares to increase most among all categories due to consolidation in major markets.


Demand from emerging countries such as China, India and Brazil and improved economic growth in advanced economies, combined with limited advances in travel supply, will result in increased pricing, particularly in high-demand travel markets.


The global travel price outlook report published by Carlson Wagonlit Travel and the GBTA’s education and research foundation expects air fares to rise gradually through 2015, by as much as 2.2%, although low-cost carriers are limiting price increases in some regions.


An improved outlook for hotel companies could lead to greater pressure on negotiated rates for travel managers and buyers, with prices expected to rise by as much as 2.6% globally.


In contrast to the air and hotel sectors, the ground transportation industry has an “abundance” of supply, according to the report. With industry consolidation and strong competition, global prices are expected to remain flat throughout 2015.


GBTA Foundation research vice-president Joseph Bates said: “The study reveals that travel managers expect price increases next year across the board on travel categories including air fares, hotel room rates and rental car rates.


“Risks to the forecast including the escalating Ukrainian crisis; declining European inflation; burgeoning debt in China and oil price shocks could potentially have a negative influence on travel demand and pricing however, so travel managers are advised to consider contingencies for these risks in their planning.”