by Loren G. Edelstein | July 23, 2012

Carlson Wagonlit Travel today released its 2013 Travel Price Forecast, indicating that travel costs in most categories are expected to grow modestly around the globe next year, with the largest price increases in the Asia Pacific and Latin America regions. While the economies of the United States and Canada are experiencing slow and steady improvement, no major growth is expected for the foreseeable future, which will help contain price increases in 2013 for most categories of spend. For next year in North America, airline prices are expected to rise 2.8 percent, hotel rates will rise 3.2 percent and car rental prices will decrease by 1.1 percent.

In terms of meetings:

• In Asia Pacific, spending is projected to increase by about 6 percent, while group sizes will decrease by around 3.8 percent as organizations attempt to mitigate rising supplier prices by holding a larger number of smaller and shorter meetings with fewer attendees.
• In Latin America, spending per attendee will be the highest in the world, with average increases of 11 percent. Meanwhile, group size will decrease by about 7 percent.
• Continued economic uncertainty in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will limit significant price increases in those regions.

According to Nick Vournakis, senior vice president, Global Product Marketing and CWT Solutions Group, "Price increases in 2013 will begin to level off in most regions throughout the world compared to what travel buyers experienced in 2012, as booming economies like Asia Pacific's begin to normalize, and as uncertainty remains in Europe." He added, "While slightly higher prices will be the reality again next year as demand for travel outpaces supply in most places, our forecast demonstrates there is still plenty that travel buyers can do to watch costs and take care of travelers through other measures, including reexamining how they influence traveler behavior."