Outlook For 2012

January 5 2012 by Chris McGinnis
Comments (12)

iStock_000018680764XSmall.jpgI've gazed into my crystal ball, and here's what I'm looking forward to in 2012 on the business travel front:

1 - With the US economy improving slowly, I expect to see equally slow growth when it comes to corporate travel budgets--so don't expect your company to loosen the reins any time soon. The good news is that I don't think we will see as many budget cuts and controls as we've seen in recent years. Midscale hotels like Best Western that include extras like breakfast, wi-fi and parking along with a reasonable rate will continue to be a travel budget's best friend.

2 - Increased demand for travel in 2012 will result in higher prices for transportation, fuel, lodging and food, with the biggest jumps in big coastal cities such as New York, Boston, Washington DC, Los Angeles or San Francisco. Between the coasts, where the economic recovery is weaker, prices should remain mostly flat.

3 - Airfares in the US are now 10-20% higher than they were a couple years ago, and should remain that way as airlines continue reduce capacity, consolidate, or, in the case of bankrupt American Airlines, shrink their way to profitability. We'll also continue to see airlines add or increase those frustrating fees, which they now use to stay in the black.

4 - The price of oil has decreased to about $100 per barrel from a high of around $120 back in April, which is helping to keep gasoline prices down...for now. But keep an eye on events in the Middle East--a flare up in tensions could result in price shocks.

5 - Business travel demand (and prices) will continue to rise in Asia--and here's some evidence to show just how fast travel demand is growing there: In 2012 China's Beijing Capital International Airport is expected to surpass Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International in the US as the world's busiest. With economic uncertainty hovering over Europe, demand could flatten out, which means prices should stay about the same.

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    By R.G. on January 9, 2012 8:28 AM

    My wife and I intended to go to Florida for our 25th Wedding Anniversary but I had an accident with an electric saw and damaged my hand and was unablre to drive.
    Hope to try the trip in 2012.

    By Dawn Drew on January 9, 2012 8:32 AM

    I would like to travel the OLD ROUTE 66 Hwy by car

    By S Robertson on January 9, 2012 9:31 AM

    My plan for 2012 is to go to Death Valley In California and would like to stay in Lone Pine...this area is so different from where I live...and "hell" Ive never been below sea level :)

    By Linda on January 10, 2012 6:32 PM

    Would like to go to Myrtle Beach, SC to Singing in the Sun at the Convention Center, injury to husband's coworker prevented vacation time 2 years ago. Have never been to SC before, hope it happens this year for us.

    By Nancy on January 14, 2012 9:37 AM

    Planning a trip to Germany.

    By Debbie on January 14, 2012 10:48 AM

    August 5th will be our 40th anniversary and I would love to go to Hawaii. I've been once, but didn't even get out out of the airport as we refueled coming back from Guam.

    By carla madden on January 16, 2012 6:40 AM

    Oh, how I would like to travel to Cabo. The ocean so bright and the people so kind, but being newly diagnosed with end renal stage I no longer have that luxery of a 4 day get away. NOwm I am satisfied with 2 nights at The Best Western Rresort in Monterey. The only hotel on the beach, and the only hotel for me and my family! Happy 2012!

    By Kathie Soracco on January 16, 2012 7:52 AM

    My best friend live in Tennessee now and I want to travel back there and see her and her children and grand children. It seems like a reasonable request. I would also like to go back to Italy but I dont think the budget is up for that.

    By claudia gavin on January 16, 2012 8:21 AM

    My middle son and his family are being sent to Japan this summer for three years with the Army. My hope is that somehow I can get to Japan to visit, otherwise I will have to wait three years to see my 3 grandsons (10, 7 and 3 years old).

    By Hugo on January 18, 2012 7:07 PM

    I have four kids and I would like to travel to disneyland in California or Florida and stay in this hotel because this line of hotel are better then disnayland hotels

    By CCornelia on January 23, 2012 11:51 AM

    My husband and I had planned a trip to Maui, our first trip to Hawaii, but had to cancel last minute. We hope to go in 2012 and know there is a great Best Western Hotel there.
    We have our regret for 2011, and our hope for 2012, all in one!
    Thanks Best Western, maybe we'll win with a double!

    By Ana on January 26, 2012 7:19 AM

    I'm planning a cruise next month and this i regret because it's so expensive.
    However, I do love cruising so I must bite the bullet.

    Turning 50 at the end of the year and I want to travel somewhere unusual but not Mexico.
    Any ideas???

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