This week AmTrav met with dozens of travel administrators on our 2023 Travel Forecast webinar, sharing a 2023 rate forecast and talking through other travel cost drivers to expect in 2023. Thanks to everyone who joined us – and for those who we missed, you’re in the right place to catch up with these three key points.
1. Prices are increasing (again)
2023 shouldn’t see the same historic airfare, hotel, car rental and meetings rates that we saw in 2022, but they are going up. Expect 2023 airfares and hotel nightly rates to exceed 2019 rates, planning for a 10% increase in airfare, 11% in hotel nightly rate, 8% increase in car rental daily rates (all North America), and 7% cost-per-attendee for meetings. Rate increases are currently forecast to finally cool in 2024 to more normal 1-3% increases.
2. It’s not just rates
Looking at AmTrav clients, rate increases in 2023 drove a 33% increase in travel spend, but that was dwarfed by a 55% increase from additional trips. So when you’re setting your 2023 budget, you have to understand whether your employee and guest travelers will be taking more (or fewer) trips than in 2022.
How do you do that? Our advice: research. Start by looking at your travel spend data to understand which departments traveled most pre-pandemic and in 2023. Then talk to your contacts in those departments to see whether they expect more travel in 2023 (and – bonus! – their finance representatives who might have additional insight). Also check with your meeting planners, find out whether they expect more meetings in 2023 (more all-hands company gatherings, for example?) – don’t forget that many early 2022 meetings were called off due to the Omicron COVID surge.
3. So what can you do?
How can you spend efficiently while your rates and trips increase again? Three things you can do:
First, keep taking advantage of your unused tickets, AmTrav clients save 10% on airfare (with hundreds saving over 20%) with AmTrav’s one-click unused ticket application.
Second, make sure your bookers are minimizing fees by booking online. AmTrav makes this easy, AmTrav clients average 95% online booking rates thanks to our modern shopping technology and Gather for guest and meeting travel.
Third, it’s not too late to optimize your hotel spend, talk to your AmTrav Relationship Manager for help consolidating spend and driving savings in key locations.
Who’s ready to forecast? If you’re dreading forecasting, you’re not alone: two-thirds of our webinar attendees said that budgeting and cost increases were their chief concerns. Reach out to your AmTrav Relationship Manager or an AmTrav representative for help budgeting and maximizing your savings, we’re excited for 2023 and ready to help!
Thanks and kudos to those who prepared this forecast data to inform our industry. In addition to AmTrav data we used data from GBTA, the Aviro Group and CWT.