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Travel Industry Roundup | November 18

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means it’s officially time to start looking ahead to next year. A new report suggests that 2017 business travel spending – unlike most people’s consumption of turkey, potatoes, and pie – will be restrained.  


Subdued Travel Cost Increases Expected in 2017

It would be generous to describe the current state of world affairs as “uncertain.” But there is a silver lining to U.S. political upheaval, Brexit, and slowing economic growth in much of the world: limited travel cost increases.

American Express Global Business Travel’s 2017 forecast predicts subdued travel price increases in the year ahead. Business Travel News sums up the forecast for airfares by saying that, “despite record-high demands for air travel, the global airline market remains fiercely competitive, which, coupled with low fuel costs, should prevent sharp increases in airfares.” Hotels and ground transportation prices will also “remain flat on a global scale” though “pricing will vary significantly by region.” U.S. hotel prices are projected to increase 3.6% in 2017. That’s less than in recent years, owing to new hotel supply finally coming to market.


NBA Teams Boycott Trump Hotels

Price is an important factor that travelers consider when booking hotels, but it’s not the only one. Other factors include a hotel’s location, amenities, and whether it has an association with someone who’s been widely accused of racism, misogyny, and xenophobia. It’s important to balance all these considerations when looking for a great hotel deal. Three NBA teams have apparently done just that. ESPN reports that the Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks, and Memphis Grizzlies have come to the decision to no longer stay at Trump-branded Hotels. Since none of the teams have released a statement on the matter, it’s unclear whether their decisions were motivated by price, or other factors.


Brexit Impact Yet to Hinder Europe’s Growing Business Travel Market

In other news related to the impact of shock political outcomes, it looks as though business travel volume has remained stable since June’s Brexit vote. According to a report from the Global Business Travel Association, business travel spending in Western Europe is expected to increase 6% in 2016, and another 4.7% in 2017. Though trip volume and spending has been restrained by slow European economic growth, business travel in the region has proven more resilient than in the United States, where spending is projected to decrease slightly in 2016 and grow by only 3.8% in 2017.


Airbnb Launches Trips and Activities Product

This week we asked whether restrictions on short-term rentals in New York and San Francisco could slow Airbnb’s growth among business travelers. On Thursday the company announced the launch of experiental travel offerings designed for the leisure travel market. Skift summarizes the new products by saying that Trips is Airbnb’s “formal foray into tours and activities,” while Places “allows users to find highly curated, hand-picked recommendations for meetups, restaurants, and events in a destination.” There were also hints at the debut of Airbnb Flights, and as well as plans to eventually let guests book car rentals, restaurant reservations, and grocery delivery services through an updated Airbnb app.

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