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by Matt Alderton | August 13, 2014
Increased demand from emerging markets like China, India, and Brazil, economic growth in advanced economies, and limited expansion in travel supply cumulatively will create higher business travel prices in 2015, according to a new report from Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) and the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

The "2015 Global Travel Price Outlook" report forecasts that airfares will rise gradually through 2015, by as much as 2.2 percent; that hotel prices will rise by as much as 2.6 percent; and that ground transportation prices will remain flat.

Although they don't like price increases, the report indicates that travel managers are nevertheless prepared for them.

"The study reveals that travel managers expect price increases next year across the board on travel categories including airfares, hotel room rates and rental car rates," Joseph Bates, GBTA Foundation vice president of research, said in a statement. "Risks to the forecast, including the escalating Ukranian crisis, declining European inflation, burgeoning debt in China and oil price shocks could potentially have a negative influence on travel demand and pricing, however, so travel managers are advised to consider contingencies for these risks in their planning."

Airfares, hotel rates and ground transportation, all three, are projected to increase most in Latin America, which will see price increases of up to 3.5 percent, 6.3 percent and 2 percent, respectively, according to CWT and the GBTA Foundation. "With business travel prices on the rise, this study is the key to effective budgeting," said Christophe Renard, vice president, CWT Solutions Group. In terms of meetings, the report predicts a 2.2 percent increase in cost per attendee, per day, and a modest 0.75 percent increase in group size, with Latin America once again leading the pack in price increases with a projected 8.5 percent increase in cost per attendee, per day.

"Compliance will remain a concern for the meetings and events sector next year, regardless of industry or geography," reads a CWT and GBTA Foundation press release. "While there are some exceptions by country, there are several trends expected across the industry in 2015, including a rise in the use of social technology."