Carlson Wagonlit predicts moderate rate hikes in 2013

PRICES in most areas of travel spend are expected to grow modestly around the globe next year, with some of the most significant inflation expected in the Asia-Pacific region, according to Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s (CWT) 2013 Travel Price Forecast.

“Price increases in 2013 will begin to level off in most regions throughout the world compared to what travel buyers experienced in 2012, as booming economies like Asia-Pacific’s begin to normalise, and as uncertainty remains in Europe,” said Nick Vournakis, senior vice president, Global Product Marketing & CWT Solutions Group.

“While slightly higher prices will be the reality again next year as demand for travel outpaces supply in most places, our forecast demonstrates there is still plenty travel buyers can do to watch costs and take care of travellers through other measures, including reexamining how they influence traveller behavior,” he added.

According to CWT, economic growth in Asia-Pacific is expected to stabilise in 2013, which will likely lead to modest price increases, although specific results vary widely by country. Airline prices are expected to increase by about 2.5 per cent, while average daily hotel rates will likely increase by about 3.5 per cent in 2013.

Singapore will lead the way in 2013 with an eight per cent increase in hotel rates amid strong travel demand and lagging supply; prices in Hong Kong will also increase more than the regional average, as clients shift from four- to five-star hotels to three-star alternatives.

Meetings and events spending will increase by about six per cent, while group sizes will decrease by around 3.8 per cent, as organisations attempt to mitigate rising supplier prices by holding a larger number of meetings with fewer attendees and shorter durations.

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