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UK hotel rates to rise 9.5 per cent in 2018, warns CWT and GBTA

Organisations release 2018 Global Travel Forecast, which also reveals 8.5 per cent rise in UK air travel

Hotel prices across Europe are expected to see "strong increases" across Europe in 2018, while UK air travel is expected to rise 8.5 per cent, reveals a new report from Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) and Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

The 2018 Global Travel Forecast reveals higher prices across most elements of travel, which is thanks to a stronger global economy and growing demand. The report shows average room rates in the UK are expected to increase 9.5 per cent, but it is Norway that will see the biggest increase of 14 per cent, followed by Russia (11.9 per cent) thanks to increased demand from the 2018 World Cup.

The expected 8.5 per cent increase in UK air travel is higher than the Western and Eastern European average (5.5 per cent and 7.1 per cent respectively) and well above the Middle East and African countries (3 per cent) due to their ongoing security threats and recovering oil industry.

The report added: "The uptick in global airfares comes as crude oil prices rise, in spite of airlines adding an expected 6 per cent capacity in 2018. Complicating airline pricing is increased segmentation of basic fares among large carriers. Travelers now have the option of choosing a basic economy, restricted fare versus various upgraded fares, with specific service options and pricing varying by airline."

Ground transportation is expected to remain mostly flat in Europe and up a meagre 1 per cent across Middle East and Africa. Sharing economy players such as Uber and Lyft will enjoy double digit growth of more than 10 per cent in 2018, but the report warns this is under threat by costly regulation and government bans.

Jeanne Liu, GBTA Foundation vice president of research, said: "Geopolitical risks, uncertainties in emerging markets and ever-changing political environments in Europe and the United States mean today’s travel professionals have more than ever to take into account when building their travel programmes. The most successful programmes will have to keep a watchful eye on both geopolitical risks and a rapidly-changing supplier landscape as they reevaluate strategy often and adapt as necessary."

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