Road Warrior: Business travel to increase in 2017

What to expect this year, travel insurance vital in advance, ride your carry-on

A record number of Irish people took trips last year, according to the Central Statistics Office. Photograph: Reuters

A record number of Irish people took trips last year, according to the Central Statistics Office. Photograph: Reuters

 

January is the time for predictions and, if they come true, it looks like 2017 will be a good year for business travel.

According to an AirPlus survey of US travel managers almost three-quarters anticipate more business trips this year. Last year it was one-quarter predicting an increase. Worldwide 33 per cent of travel managers are predicting an increase, two points up on last year.

When it comes to Brexit, half of UK travel managers expect a positive effect on business travel though nearly 60 per cent expect travel costs to rise.

Research by CWT and the Global Business Travel Association expects average airfares to rise by 2.5 per cent in 2017, though it will be a mixed bag. Prices are expected to be higher in eastern Europe at four per cent and almost flat in western Europe at 0.5 per cent.

The CWT/GBTA survey predicts considerable regional variations in hotel rates, particularly in Europe. Prices in western Europe could rise by 1.8 per cent and drop by 2.4 per cent in eastern Europe due to business being depressed by low fuel and gas prices of countries like Russia.

In north America prices are expected to rise by four per cent and higher in west coast technology cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver.

Corporate market

The UK continues to be the strongest corporate market in Europe and rates are expected to increase by 2-4 per cent. Pressure on Sterling has made the market cheaper and more attractive to foreign visitors.

PWC is taking a more modest view on London hotel prices and predicting an increase of only 0.4 per cent.

A record number of Irish people took trips last year, according to the Central Statistics Office – 6.8 million people travelled between January and November, an increase of 0.7 million.

An analysis of claims on travel insurance by Allianz Global Assistance identified trip cancellation as the primary reason for claims, followed by medical reimbursement.

More than half 51 per cent were for trip cancellation for unforeseen illness, accidental injury or bereavement. Medical issues were second but only accounted for 14 per cent of claims. Loss or theft of personal property accounted for 11 per cent. The survey demonstrates the importance of having travel insurance in place before taking any trips.

Airports are getting bigger all the time and the distances between gates further, leading to many a breathless dash to make connecting flights. Now watch out for Modobag, the world’s first motorised rideable luggage, ie a ride-on carry-on bag that will zip you around airports at eight miles an hour.

Designed by Kevin O’Donnell, the Modobag is motorised with steering and yet still retains 85 per cent of the space of a standard carry-on bag, there is even a pocket for a laptop.

Production of Modobag has been supported by a finance campaign on Indiegogo where it raised almost $500,000 and will begin to be available from this month. It will cost from $1,095, see it on modobag.com.

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