ARC Data: Business Trip Volumes Fall Again In Q3
The number of business trips settled through ARC during the third quarter fell 2 percent year over year. The ARC data show further softening in corporate travel from the first and second quarters. Business trips settled through ARC rose a modest 0.75 percent year over year for the first three months of this year but then fell 1 percent year over year during the second quarter.
Year over year for the first nine months of 2016, business trip volumes declined 0.75 percent, according to ARC data. Designed for The Beat, the quarterly ARC data are based on trips settled at the U.S. point of sale by the airline settlement system for business travel agencies and ARC-accredited Corporate Travel Departments, as determined by ARC-designated agency codes. The third-quarter data represent more than 8 million business trips settled during the quarter. Source: The Beat
U.S. Domestic Airfares Continue Downward Trend
The average U.S. inflation-adjusted domestic airfare fell 9.6 percent year over year in the second quarter to $390, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. That marks six consecutive quarters of decline. Average fares do not include ancillary fees or factor in frequent-flyer or zero fares. Source: Travel Procurement
Business Travelers Expect Business Trips to Increase
Bigger travel budgets, a better economy and the perception that travel supports customer relationships will drive business travel in the next 12 months, according to a survey of business travelers conducted by marketing firm MMGY Global. In June, MMGY Global surveyed 355 Millennials, 306 Generation Xers, 316 Baby Boomers and 30 “Matures”—totaling 1,007 U.S. residents—who took at least one domestic or international business trip in the past 12 months. The most common reason business travel will increase, as noted by half the respondents, owed to their companies’ perception that travel is important to grow and maintain customer relationships. Forty-four percent said their companies were doing better financially and had increased their travel budgets.
Travelers took an average of 6.8 business trips in the past 12 months and expected that to increase to 7.4 in the next 12 months. Millennials, those between ages 18 and 36, took more trips than the average business traveler, and they expect to take even more, 8.6 trips, in the next 12 months. Source: Travel Procurement
Sneak Peek at North American 2017 Hotel RFP Season Trends
Hotel experts have projected that buyers will experience more favorable negotiating conditions for the 2017 hotel request for proposals season, and HRS is seeing that dynamic play out with its clients in North America.
Advito’s 2017 Industry Forecast, released in September, slated hotel rate increases for corporates in North America to land between 3 percent and 5 percent. The pricing outlook from Carlson Wagonlit Travel and the Global Business Travel Association, released in July, put rate increases at 4 percent.
HRS head of corporate sourcing for the Americas Jeff Hillenmayer said the company is seeing rate increases closer to 3 percent for its clients’ RFPs. “The aggressiveness that people were talking about going into the end of this year has been tempered a lot as some of the [revenue per available room] growth numbers haven’t been quite what some of the major parties initially had expected,” Hillenmayer said. Source: Travel Procurement
Southwest Targets Reservation System Shift for May 2017
In December, Southwest Airlines will begin selling domestic tickets on its new Amadeus-based reservation system for May 2017 travel and beyond, Southwest executives said in an earnings call. May is when operations will transfer to the new system. The switch to the new system will be mostly invisible to travelers, president and CEO Gary Kelly said. The carrier is bulking up call center staffing as it trains them on the new system, but because Southwest already uses the system for international flights, many employees already are familiar with it. “It’s behind Southwest.com, where we’ll have a new reservation system engine,” Kelly said. “[Customers] won’t know that they are making a booking in a new system.” Source: Business Travel News
JetBlue Invests in West Coast Private Jet Service
JetBlue has made a minority investment in private jet company JetSuite to boost growth of its West Coast service. Jet Suite’s service, JetSuiteX, operates 30 passenger jets that fly among private terminals in California, Las Vegas and Bozeman, Mont. JetBlue already partnered with JetSuiteX to allow JetBlue Mosaic loyalty members to earn points on JetSuiteX flights, but the companies now will cooperate more deeply. Source: BTN
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