BCD Travel has identified significant challenges corporations in Asia face as they endeavour to manage costs in 2008. Spurred by a robust economy, business travel in Asia is expected to continue at an all-time high, sparking higher prices and shrinking availability.
Consequently, business travellers will be faced with full flights and oversold hotels, while companies will continue to see upward cost pressures on their travel budgets. According to BCD Travel, general airfares are expected to rise two to four percent globally in 2008, with Asia at the higher end with some increases of well over ten percent. Generally, Asian hotels are placing rate increases in the double digits, while room availability shrinks. Some markets, such as Singapore where many multinational companies are located, are reporting record high average room rates. Hotels in many business destinations in India, China, Singapore and Hong Kong are experiencing similarly high pricing levels.
Roger Pfund, general manager and vice president, Asia Pacific Operations, BCD Travel said, “At every turn we are hearing our clients express concern with rising costs. They are finding it increasingly difficult to negotiate private rates due to strong demand from other traveller segments. We recommend working with carriers and hotels who understand the value of retaining their loyalty when the economic times turn, which they inevitably will. We also encourage our corporate clients to strengthen their travel policies, as well as ensure increased compliance. In the face of increased costs, weak travel policies further worsen the situation. We work with our clients to put in place policies and traveller compliance checks that prevent essential dollars from being squandered. The situation will worsen from a corporation’s perspective before it gets better. We urge our clients to stay the course, balancing cost management while making sure their travellers’ safety, security and productivity remain high.”