That's not quite the news we were hoping for.
Take advantage of those flash airfare sales—travel prices, particularly for flights and hotels, are expected to increase globally in the next year. According to the fourth annual report, released yesterday from global travel management company Carlson Wagonlit Travel and the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of of the Global Business Travel Association, airfares worldwide are projected to rise 3.5% in 2018, and hotel prices are expected to rise slightly more, at 3.7%. (Good news for commuters? Ground transportation—like taxis, trains, and buses—will rise only 0.6%). A stronger global economy and an increase in demand are cited as general factors for the increase in pricing, as is inflation and a drive in oil costs.
Though airfare increases are expected all over the world, rises in cost will vary by region and country. Prices in the Asia Pacific region are anticipated to rise the most in India and China as a result of increasing domestic demand. Meanwhile, prices in Eastern Europe will increase more than in Western Europe (7.1 versus 5.5%, which the report suggests is related to the 2018 World Cup in Russia next summer. Prices will rise less drastically in North America (2.3 percent), and the report notes that tighter travel restrictions have already suggested a decrease in flights to the U.S.
Regionally, hotel prices in Asia are expected to rise by 3.5%, though discrepancies vary by country—prices in Japan are likely to fall 4% and ones in New Zealand are set to rise 9.8%, for example. Prices are expected to rise around 6% in both Eastern and Western Europe, but increase by 11.9% in Russia (once again, blame it on the World Cup). For the U.S., the report predicts prices will increase by 2.9%, slightly less than the global average.
Prices might be on the rise, but so are the amenities and features—Hotels are getting smarter, too, with companies investing more in in-room entertainment and beacon technologies, as well as releasing mobile apps to make checking in and out easier than ever. Airlines, too, are expected to offer even more services to benefit customers. More lie-flat seats coming to economy class? Let's hope so.