Corporate travel agencies and travel consultants predict negotiated airfares and hotel rates for 2011 in the United States will increase significantly.
The New York Times quoted Craig Banikowski, president and chief executive of the National Business Travel Association, as saying: “we will see airlines and hotels wield more negotiating power. Many travel buyers are already experiencing stricter contract terms and requirements, and we expect this to result in smaller corporate discounts going forward”.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel forecasts increases of 3 to 5 percent on domestic coach tickets and 4 to 6 percent on business-class fares on long-haul international flights.
As a way to contain air travel costs, business travel advisers are suggesting companies to require employees to buy advance purchase fares sold to the public.
Stewart Harvey, client management director at Hogg Robinson Group, says: “Our advice to clients is to use their domestic corporate rate as a default position, but to be open to the lower fare on the day of booking as well”.
Coming to hotel prices, the average corporate hotel rate is predicted to rise about 4 percent in 2011.
According to Bjorn Hanson, divisional dean of the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University , negotiated rates could increase significantly more than 4 percent in popular business travel destinations, up to as high as 20 percent in New York, where demand has remained strong. (source)