How High Are Hotel Rates and Airfares Going in 2018?

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hotel rates, meetings
Hotel rates are expected to climb 3.7 percent this year.

A report by CWT Meetings & Events reports a one-two punch of higher hotel rates and airfares in 2018.

Higher hotel rates and airfare prices are forecast for the remainder of this year, according to the 2018 Meetings & Events Future Trends report released by CWT.

The report predicts an increase of 3.7 percent globally in hotel prices in 2018, as well as “a progressive push from suppliers to move corporate buyers away from fixed, negotiated hotel rates and toward dynamic rate pricing. While technology can accommodate dynamic rates, historically the rates have not proven advantageous for buyers. As the industry moves toward a 15 to 20 percent discount off published rates, a blended program that offers both fixed and dynamic rates with maximum thresholds in low-volume markets may work for both suppliers and buyers.”

The report addressed how, with the mega Marriott/Starwood merger, most planners are now likely to be working with a single contact across all of the combined hotels, but adds that “speculation is growing about how long mega hoteliers will operate with numerous brands to market and support rather than simply combining operations.”

It’s the same story with airfare costs, with the report predicting a price increase of 3.5 percent. “Airline prices are expected to rise along with oil prices in 2018,” the report states. “Oil prices hovered below $50 per barrel in 2017 after bottoming out in early 2016 at $29. How an airline is affected by fuel prices depends on its hedging contracts. Some carriers hedged and paid greater than market pricing in recent years, while others benefitted from little to no hedging.”

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.