CONTINUOUS growth from China is expected to drive rate increases in Asia-Pacific (APAC) across most categories of the business travel industry in the coming year, according to American Express Global Business Travel (AMEX GBT) Forecast 2014.
Andi Budd, vice president and general manager of Amex GBT for Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan, said: “While growth is slowing in some (specific) countries, Asia-Pacific is leading the rest of the world in terms of economic growth.
“Business travel is still a priority in this region and rates are likely to rise modestly across air, hotel and ground transport in 2014.”
APAC air routes will experience sustained demand next year and published airfares will likely increase in most countries, with the exception of Australia, China and Japan.
Hotel rates are expected to rise along with the region’s ongoing economic growth and supply is not expected to outstrip demand in most locations, with the exception of India.
Budd said Singapore remains as one of the top destinations for the rapidly growing base of Chinese tourists, adding: “We expect high-end hotel prices to remain largely unaffected. However, more mid-tier properties continue to open to capture some of the increased demand.”
The full 2014 forecast with further insights on airfares, hotel and car rental rates in APAC and other regions is available on the American Express Global Business Travel website.
Separately, American Express had in September announced plans to sell 50 per cent of its Global Business Travel (GBT) division to an investor group led by Certares International Bank.
Budd said there will be no potential changes from the joint venture, save for a “greater expansion” of the GBT business. The exact investment amount by Certares is expected to be unveiled in January 2014, while the joint venture will likely kick off in May, he added.