European Biz Travel Spending Will Rise

European Biz Travel Spending Will Rise

Buoyed by some of the strongest demand and highest occupancy seen in continental Europe in years, as well as a strengthening euro and British pound against the U.S. dollar, the daily cost of travel increased year over year in most of Europe’s Corporate Travel Index markets. Spending levels and forecasts are far less consistent in Africa and the Middle East. In the latter, a supply boom continues to outpace demand.

For the 59 cities that comprise EMEA in this edition of the CTI, the average 2017 daily cost of an upscale hotel room, three meals and a taxi from the airport to the city center is $326.72 in. Last year’s CTI doesn’t represent an apples-to-apples comparison, as BTN replaced a melange of miscellaneous trip costs with the simpler taxi ride. Daily combined hotel and food costs, however, show a year-over-year increase of slightly less than 5 percent.

In fact, despite seeing nearly a 7 percent increase in its daily hotel and food total, Zurich, which was last year’s highest-ranking EMEA city for travel costs, has been dethroned this year by the Omani capital of Muscat, where the 2017 daily business travel cost was $521.36. Don’t be fooled, though: Muscat’s lofty perch atop the CTI EMEA ranking is a function of its taxi costs. Only in Tokyo does it require more to travel from the airport to the city center than Muscat’s $191.

In fact, Muscat’s 2017 daily hotel and food costs declined more than 6 percent from 2016, a common theme among cities in the Middle East. Excluding the taxi, travel per diems dropped year over year by 1.5 percent in Kuwait City, nearly 4 percent in Riyadh, more than 2 percent in Abu Dhabi, more than 3 percent in Dubai and almost
18 percent in Doha. In many of these cases, the culprit remains a significant influx of hotel supply paired with a depressed global market for oil prices. Due largely to these trends, BCD travel management consultancy Advito projects continued general softness in travel costs in the Middle East in 2018.

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