Global Travel Forecast 2019

Growth, Rising Prices and New Tech Take Center Stage

With global economic growth on an upswing, corporate travel is set to follow in 2019. Which regions are seeing the most growth, and what are some of the key trends influencing the future of business travel? The “2019 Global Travel Forecast” by the Global Business Travel Association and Carlson Wagonlit Travel provides an in-depth look.

  • Demand increases: Global trade has recovered to near pre-2008 levels while the global economy is forecasted to grow 3.4% in 2019.
  • Prices rise: Everything from air travel to hotel rooms to ground transportation will likely cost more.
  • Technology boosts productivity: New travel site navigation tools and apps will further improve things like the check-in process and car rental paperwork.

Across the regions, growth rates and challenges vary.

In North America, corporate tax cuts in the U.S. encouraged investments, further propelling demand for corporate travel. As a result, businesses can expect:  

  • average daily rates for hotels to rise, as they have been for the past five years.
  • car rental firms to raise prices about 1% while also teaming up with ride-hailing companies.

In Asia Pacific, growth is forecasted at 5.6% in 2019, making a big impact on supply and demand, including:

  • increased challenges for corporate travel buyers to secure rooms at preferred properties with preferred rates.
  • rising prices, with air travel 3.2% higher, hotels costing 5.1% more, and ground transportation up 0.5%.

In Europe, prospects for strong growth remain, with:

  • hotel occupancy levels expected to reach an all-time high for most key cities.
  • the euro projected to gain 4.8% against the U.S. dollar in 2019, translating into a 4.8% increase in purchasing power for Europeans in the U.S. However, American businesses buying in Europe will see a comparable drop.

Download the full report here – a collaboration from GBTA and CWT with support of Carlson Family Foundation.