As companies begin to create budgets for 2018, trying to guesstimate business travel expenses can be a challenge. While determining an exact travel budget is next to impossible, the 2018 Global Travel Forecast provides a helpful snapshot of what you can expect next year.


As the economy continues to grow, so will business travel prices. As we see more and more consumers and businesses spending liberally, business travel vendors don’t need to make as many concessions to attract customers.


Here’s what to expect in 2018 in air, hotel and ground transportation.


Airlines in 2018

According to JTB Business Travel, the global airline industry is expected to grow 6% in 2018. The introduction of basic economy fares has contributed to this growth. Travel managers may be tempted to take advantage of these rock-bottom basic economy fares, but make sure the full cost is considered. While basic economy features a low upfront cost, these fares may end up costing much more as passengers pay a la carte for services that are typically included in higher classes such as baggage, seat assignments, in-flight refreshments, etc.


Hotels in 2018

Some of the biggest news in 2017 was the merger between Marriott and Starwood. Expect this merger to have an impact early in 2018. Companies that have worked with Marriott or Starwood in the past may find that a brand that has served as a company’s go-to when traveling has been eliminated.


Also, expect hotel providers to continue pushing for dynamic pricing over the pre-negotiated rates that once served as a staple in corporate travel. Consider an arrangement that includes both pre-negotiated and dynamic rates.


Ground Transportation in 2018

According to JTB Business Travel, just like airfares and hotel rates, the cost of ground transportation is expected to rise in 2018. Unpredictable oil prices and strict emissions regulations may influence the price of ground transportation. Keep in mind that while the sharing economy is struggling to take market share from hotels, it continues to gain traction in competition against traditional taxis.

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