Rising Business Travel Costs and Travel Disruptions: Staying Informed and Flexible

The cost of business travel is expected to continue rising in the coming years, driven by intense competition for airline seats, hotel rooms, and rental cars as the world recovers from the pandemic. According to the 2024 Global Business Travel Forecast published by CWT and the Global Business Travel Association, global business travel and event costs are projected to increase, although at a more moderate pace compared to the steep increases seen in 2022.

The report highlights the rising average ticket prices (ATPs) for flights booked for business travel.[0] In 2022, the ATP rose by 72.2% year over year, reaching $749, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.[1] This increase was driven by strong demand for leisure travel and constrained airline capacity due to labor shortages and supply chain issues.[1] However, the report predicts that ATP growth will be more modest in the coming years, with a projected increase of 2.3% in 2023 and 1.8% in 2024.[1] Corporate buyers may also have less leverage to negotiate with airlines as their travel volumes remain below pre-pandemic levels.[1]

The report also highlights regional variations in ATPs. The Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region had the highest ATP in 2022, reaching $855, representing a 31.5% increase from 2021.[1] In contrast, the Asia Pacific region saw the biggest increase in ATP, climbing 148.7% year over year to $567, despite a lack of international travel demand from China.[1] As airlines in the region add more international route capacity, price pressures are expected to ease, with ATPs forecasted to rise 4.8% in 2023 and 2.7% in 2024.[1]

In addition to the business travel forecast, recent news highlights the impact of wildfires on travel plans in Maui, Hawaii. Devastating wildfires have led to the evacuation of thousands of residents and visitors, causing travel disruptions and uncertainty.[2] The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) has advised non-essential travelers to leave Maui and discouraged non-essential travel to the island.[3] The HTA has also provided updates on the status of airports, flight changes, and assistance centers for evacuees.[3]

Travelers with upcoming plans to visit Maui are advised to contact their airlines for any changes or cancellations.[3] However, travelers with plans to visit other islands in Hawaii, such as Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, and other parts of Hawaii Island, are not affected at this time.[3]

In response to the wildfires and travel disruptions, airlines such as Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines are offering travel waivers, allowing passengers to change their plans without penalty.[4]

As the situation evolves, the HTA will continue to provide updates to travel partners and the public to ensure everyone is informed about travel to Maui and Hawaii Island.[4] It is advised for travelers to monitor the situation and wait for containment of the fires before making any decisions about their upcoming trips to Maui.

Overall, the combination of rising business travel costs and travel disruptions due to natural disasters highlights the importance of staying informed and flexible when planning and embarking on trips. Business travelers and tourists alike should closely monitor the situation and consult with their airlines and travel providers for the latest information and assistance.

0. “What to know about Hawaii travel right now | News | kvoa.com” www.kvoa.com, 11 Aug. 2023, https://www.kvoa.com/news/cnn/what-to-know-about-hawaii-travel-right-now/article_1163c852-8050-5134-9d91-9b9a4140069e.html

1. “Global business travel and events costs are expected to remain …” www.eventindustrynews.com, 11 Aug. 2023, https://www.eventindustrynews.com/news/global-business-travel-and-events-costs-are-expected-to-remain-elevated-through-2024

2. “Updates from Air Canada, WestJet, and a FAQ from the Hawaii …” www.travelweek.ca, 11 Aug. 2023, https://www.travelweek.ca/news/awaii-tourism-authority/

3. “Maui Wildfires Impacting Travel” recommend.com, 11 Aug. 2023, https://recommend.com/news-tools/maui-wildfires-impacting-upcoming-travel/

4. “What to know about Hawaii travel right now | https://www.wpsdlocal6.com/news/national/what-to-know-about-hawaii-travel-right-now/article_4e3a8ff6-3783-11ee-b995-276997f574eb.html

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