BY Christopherson Business Travel |

2010 U.S. Business Travel Buyer’s Cost Forecast

The National Business Travel Association (NBTA) has provided the following travel industry
2010 Forecasts for the following ranges for changes in rates/fares:

Average U.S. Domestic Rates/Fares

Average rates/airfares 2009 % Change expected for 2010
AIR $ 299 * -2% to +3% *
HOTEL $ 136 -2% to -8%
CAR RENTAL $   46 -1% to -3%

* Airline ancillary fees may increase the cost of an airline ticket by 30% or more

With air travel and car rental costs expected to remain nearly flat and hotel rates expected to decline, businesses expect to travel more.  That growth in travel is expected to lead to increases in travel expenditures.

  • Nearly 7 in 10 (69%) of travel managers responding to an NBTA survey expect business travel volume to grow in 2010.
  • 56 percent of travel managers project their total travel spend to increase in 2010.  Another 31 percent expect their total travel spend to remain flat year over year.

Travel and meetings buyers also expect to see an easing of travel & meeting reductions in 2010.  Compared to the previous year, the percentage of travel managers expecting to see cuts has gone down in the following areas:  number of meetings (-27%), non-essential travel and conference (-20%) and event attendance (-15%).
NBTA President & CEO, Craig Banikowski, CCTE, C.P.M, CMM said, “Travel management is once again quickly responding to shifting business cycles to help companies optimize their travel investments to maximize profits.  As the economic recovery begins taking hold in 2010, companies will take advantage of low travel costs to send employees on the road in greater volumes, thus fueling the recovery.”
Banikowski continued.  “The uptick in business travel in 2010 will take place within the framework of a new corporate culture in terms of travel.  In the “new normal”, we see stronger travel mandates, greater use of pre-trip approval and audits, tighter restrictions on premium class travel, more focus on travel ROI, and enterprise-wide strategic meetings management.”
In the new business travel environment, corporate travel managers expect to drive good values with preferred travel suppliers:

  • 70 percent of buyers expect to negotiate better hotel discounts for 2010
  • More than 30 percent forecast better discounts with airlines, and car rental companies