by Matt Alderton | March 27, 2018
The global economy is on the uptick. Unfortunately, so is the cost of business travel, according to corporate travel management company BCD Travel, which last week published an update to its "2018 Industry Forecast" showing rising prices for air travel and hotel stays.

Since publishing its original "2018 Industry Forecast" in September 2017, BCD has revised its airfare predictions upward in a number of markets based on the rising cost of oil. In September, it forecasted oil prices of $50 per barrel in 2018; it now is predicting oil prices of $60 per barrel.

"Our initial forecasts for 2018 remain largely on target. Intercontinental economy airfares will increase slightly more than our original forecast as the global economy continues to strengthen," said Charuta Fadnis, BCD Travel's senior director of research and analytics.

Also affecting airfares is airlines' appetite for distribution alternatives.

"Airlines are eager to lower distribution costs and develop better ways of marketing their offerings across their own sales channels," BCD reported. "Some major European-based airline groups, such as Lufthansa Group and two IAG airlines (British Airways and Iberia), have started to levy surcharges for tickets bought through non-direct channels. Air France-KLM will follow suit soon. This has led to increased costs for customers buying tickets through third-party channels, like global distribution systems (GDS)."

For hotel rates, BCD's original forecast remains unchanged: It predicts global hotel rates this year will be 2 to 4 percent higher than they were last year.