Overall business travel is expected to increase 5% next year. Business airfare will increase 7%; hotel and car rental will be up 2%, according to the National Business Travel Association.
American Express expects the same, projecting airfares to be up 4% and car-rental, meal and telecommunications to rise 3%. However, the report expects a 1% decrease in hotel rates.
Travel costs in 2003 have some uncertainty about them, making projections difficult:
- New airline rules making it more difficult for corporations to use non-refundable tickets.
- The reduction of “waivers and favors”, in the past used to help big corporate customers bend fare rules.
- Impending military action in Iraq, which could interrupt business travel similar to what was seen during the Persian Gulf War.