New research out today highlights six key risks heading into 2017 that could impact both travel industry prices and the global economy as a whole. They are emerging market performance, financial market turbulence, geopolitical risks, uncertainty surrounding Brexit, potentially fluctuating U.S. interest rates and oil prices. “While business travel repeatedly demonstrates its resilience, the high level of global uncertainty we face heading into 2017 means travel buyers have to be more nimble and flexible than ever in crafting travel programs,” said Jeanne Liu, GBTA Foundation vice president for research. “The outlook shows only marginal increases or flat travel prices, but for 2017, the key to building successful travel programs will be watching and reacting to an ever-changing global landscape.” These findings come from the 2017 Global Travel Price Outlook, research from the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), and leading travel management company Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT). The third annual report provides global, regional and country-by-country projections for air travel, hotel, ground transportation and meetings and events prices in 2017. Hotel Mega hotel mergers are grabbing headlines, but their impact on prices likely won’t be felt until 2018. Hotel services such as room service, laundry and security remain important to corporate travelers. Traditional hotels, therefore, remain an attractive option for business travelers, despite the sharing economy options. - Asia Pacific is expected to see hotel prices fall slightly, by 0.6 percent. - EMEA again varies by region as geopolitical issues impact on hotel rates. Also, low oil and gas prices have decreased corporate travel for [the sector, primarily in the Middle East, Africa and Russia. It is anticipated that Eastern Europe prices will fall 2.4 percent, Western Europe prices will increase 1.8 percent, and Middle East and Africa rates will fall slightly, by 0.5 percent. - Prices in Latin America and the Caribbean are projected to decrease by 0.9 percent. - Overall, North American hotel prices are expected to rise by 4.0 percent in 2017, but it will be a tale of two coasts. West Coast cities, including Seattle, Los Angeles, San Jose and Vancouver, will experience high single- to double-digit growth because of the high-tech boom and a shortage of hotel rooms. Meanwhile, East Coast cities including New York City and Toronto, as well as Canada’s oil and gas region, will face low growth or even a reduction because of an over-supply of hotel rooms. Get the full story at GBTA and download the report at GBTA Foundation (free registration)