Air fares and hotel rates in Asia Pacific will remain “reasonably stable” in 2015, according to a new forecast from American Express Global Business Travel.
In its latest outlook for the region, AMEX predicted “less dramatic fluctuations… across the entire Asia Pacific region this year”.
Factors limiting the growth of travel costs in the region, according to the report, include a cautious outlook among local companies regarding the global economy, the stabilisation of China’s economic growth, and the continued rise of low-cost carriers.
According to the forecast, international economy class and business class airfares on intra-Asian routes are expected to rise slightly (+1-2% for business class, +0-2% for economy). Other airfares are expected to remain reasonably stable, with domestic fare changes (+0-3%) slightly exceeding international (-1% to +2%).
A strong pipeline of new hotel supply in the region is also helping to curb the growth of room rates, which is expected to be “lower than the previous two years”. Growth of rates at midscale (+0.8-3.5%) and upscale (+0.7-3.5%) hotels is expected to be almost identical.
“While predicted rate increases in 2015 may not be significant, travel managers are still seeking to reduce the overall cost of their managed travel programme, or at least not increase expenditure significantly,” said Andi Budd, vice president & general manager of American Express Global Business Travel for the ASEAN region.
“Locally we have seen an increase in the number of companies wanting to include low-cost carriers in their travel programmes, suggesting their use in business travel here may rise in the near future. We are also seeing companies seek to achieve savings by reducing the length of trips, moving more bookings online, consolidating their hotel bookings to particular chains, and strongly encouraging advanced booking.”
Globally, AMEX predicts air, hotel and ground transportation prices to be “neutral to slightly higher” across all regions in 2015.