High biz travel prices with no end in sight

If you are waiting and wondering if business travel prices might fall…you might be in for a long wait.

This week American Express released its latest Business Travel Monitor (BTM) report for 2010 showing that airfare continued to climb in 2010 and is just 6 percent shy of the airfare highs of 2008. Also, domestic hotel rates were steady overall in 2010 while reaching their highest levels all year in the fourth quarter of 2010.

2011 has seen a strong start for airfare increases. The recent spikes in oil prices and the cut in capacity growth plans by airlines likely mean no end in sight for rising prices. Recent BTM data shows domestic airfare in January 2011 was up eight percent compared to January 2010.

Specifically:

·         Year-Over-Year Average Domestic Airfare Paid Increased 7 percent to $231 in 2010

·         Year-Over-Year Average International Airfare Paid Increased 7 percent to $1,795 in 2010

·         Year-Over-Year Average Domestic Hotel Booked Rates Paid Remained Flat at $152 in 2010

Additionally, American Express identified the five U.S. domestic markets with the highest hotel rate increases in Q4 2010 vs. Q4 2009, which are:

  • Las Vegas, NV (+12%) — rates really had no where to go but up!
  • Denver, CO (+5)
  • New York, NY (+5%) — high end hotel rates have jumped much more than this
  • Washington DC (+5%)
  • San Francisco, CA (+5) — great news for our local economy. Not such good news for visitors.

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