2016 Global Travel Price Outlook

Alexandria, VA & Amsterdam | 21, JULY 2015

New research identifies six hot spots – India, China, Colombia, Mexico, Singapore and Australia — where increased business travel demand is driving significant air price increases. This is despite global air travel prices displaying signs that they will be essentially flat in 2016.


“Business travel is a leading indicator of global economic activity,” said Joseph Bates, GBTA Foundation vice president of research. “The top-line pricing outlook for air, hotel and ground in 2016 is surprisingly stable. But when you dig deeper, the data reveals global hot spots where demand is driving air travel price increases. For 2016, India, China, Colombia, Mexico, Singapore and Australia are projected to top the list.”


These findings come from the 2016 Global Travel Price Outlook, research from the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), and leading travel management company Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT).


The report provides global, regional and country-by-country projections for air travel, hotel, ground transportation and meetings & events prices in 2016.


“The data provides a compelling picture of a dynamic business travel industry,” said Christophe Renard, vice president, CWT Solutions Group. “For cost-conscious travel managers, this outlook can help drive opportunities and cut costs to stretch every travel budget further.”


Airline prices are set to be nearly flat on a global basis due to significantly lower energy prices, steady increases in capacity and stable demand. Regionally, the report projects:


  • Asia Pacific and Latin America - small price increases (1.2 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively). See below for six hot spots in these regions.
  • In Europe, Middle East and Africa, prices will see a small increase (0.4 per cent).
  • In North America, (0.5 per cent) — with the U.S. slightly up (0.5 per cent) and Canada sharply down (-5 per cent).


Yet, global and regional numbers reveal only part of the picture. There are six countries that are seeing projected price increases as a result of higher demand, including:


  • Colombia - by 3 per cent, caused by a rapidly growing middle class and relatively stable economy, which are driving demand while capacity has grown at a modest rate.
  • Mexico - by 3 per cent, driven by strong domestic and international demand.
  • Singapore - by 3 per cent, driven by lower energy prices and less restrictive monetary policy that will fuel demand.
  • India - by 2.6 per cent, driven by spiking business and consumer confidence.
  • Chinaby 2.8 per cent, bolstered by domestic demand and strong demand despite slowing economic growth and business travel volume.
  • Australia - by 2.7 per cent, as improving business conditions will boost domestic air travel.

A seventh nation – Venezuela – is projected to see a 6.3 per cent increase, caused by high inflation, the drop in oil prices and a currency fixed to the US dollar.


  • Globally, 2016 will show an increase in hotel prices because demand is overtaking supply in every major global region: 
  • Asia Pacific will see hotel prices rise by 3 per cent — led by Singapore, Japan and Australia.
  • In Europe, Middle East and Africa, hotel prices will see a moderate increase at 1.8 per cent, although many European countries will experience price increases in local currency due to exchange rates with the U.S. dollar. Prices in Russia will rise significantly due to the impacts of the drop in oil prices and sanctions on its economy.
  • In Latin America, prices will rise— 3.7 per cent — due to high inflation in some nations, particularly Venezuela and Brazil.
  • In North America, high demand will increase rates by 4.3 per cent, driven by economic activity in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and other major U.S. cities.


Car rental pricing has been under pressure for a number of years. Demand isn’t rising sharply enough, and fleets are not being managed tightly enough, leading to stagnant rates globally and regionally. The most interesting trend we’re seeing globally revolves around the sharing economy. While we do not predict a significant impact on traditional car rentals globally, there may be an impact to rental car companies’ car share and sedan/black car segments.

Meetings & Events

Across the globe, only modest increases are expected in cost per attendee per day and group size, with the exception of Asia Pacific which will see a 5 per cent increase in cost and an 11 per cent increase in group size. Strong demand from China and India is the major driver for the region’s increasing cost and group sizes. North America will also see a 4.5 per cent cost per attendee per day increase, with food and beverage pressures continuing to be a significant driver of costs.


The full report is available to GBTA members here, and non-members may access the report here.


Further insight into 2016 travel prices


Notes to editors


The report will be discussed at GBTA Convention 2015


A Glimpse into 2016: Forecasting Supplier Prices

Tue. July 28| 10:00 am - 11:00 am | 314AB


The forecast methodology can be found in Appendix 1 (page 19) of the 2016 Global Travel Price Outlook.


For high-res charts, please contact Chloe Couchman, Carrie-Ann Cooper, or Colleen Gallagher.


About the GBTA Foundation

The GBTA Foundation is the education and research foundation of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organisation headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. Collectively, GBTA’s 7,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA provides its growing network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts with world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media. For more information, see and

About CWT Solutions Group
The CWT Solutions Group, the global consulting arm of CWT, brings innovation into the equation by pushing the boundaries of traditional travel management into new areas. The Group is currently exploring big ideas and emerging solutions such as adaptive travel policies, the use of gaming and scorecards to drive traveller compliance, managing connectivity costs, and more. Our airline, hotel, and ground transportation practice areas help travel buyers source and continually improve their managed programmes in these areas, and our policy and compliance practice is dedicated to strengthening travel policies and travellers’ compliance to those policies. For more information on CWT Solutions Group, please visit our website at


About CWT
CWT is a global leader specialised in managing business travel and meetings and events. CWT serves companies, government institutions and non-governmental organisations of all sizes in more than 150 countries and territories. By leveraging both the expertise of its people and leading-edge technology, CWT helps clients derive the greatest value from their travel programme in terms of savings, service, security and sustainability. The company is also committed to providing best-in-class service and assistance to travellers. In 2014, sales volume for wholly owned operations and joint ventures totaled US$27.3 billion. As part of its commitment to responsible business, CWT is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact Ten Principles. For more information about CWT, please visit our UK website at Follow us on Twitter @CWT_UKI.


Media contacts


Colleen Lerro Gallagher, +1 703-236-1133,   

Scott Gerber, +1 202-463-0067,     


CWT Global

Chloe Couchman, +44 (0) 07767 418 834

Carrie-Ann Cooper, +44 (0)7785 458 884,   
Natalie Curant or Jo Geneen
CWT UK & Ireland                                                                
+ 44 (0)20 3353 1108 / 1113 (office)                                                
+44 (0)7920 863 180 / +44 (0)7766 027506 (mobile) /