FCM Consulting Releases Global Quarterly Trend Report for Q1-2024

Corporate Travel Budgets Starting to Increase this Year Given Positive Economic Outlook, Rising Business Travel Demand and Supplier Confidence

New York, NY (May 16, 2024) – FCM Consulting, a division of leading travel management company FCM, today released its latest Global Quarterly Trend Report, which provides an insightful look at forecasts for the year ahead and the key trends shaping the business travel industry. The report is sourced using FCM’s corporate booking data from the first quarter of this year, between January to March 2024.

According to the report, there has been a gradual, consistent growth in business travel trips to start the year, which is forecasted to continue into the next quarter. With traveller confidence on the rise and an incremental growth in demand, the data suggests that pricing is expected to remain strong across the industry. Global economy airfares were up US$45 (+11%) and business class tickets were up US$224 (+12%) in January 2024, compared to January 2019. In North America, economy ticket prices were up 15% and business fares were up 9%. But encouragingly, global economy ticket prices actually dropped 16% in January, when compared to January 2021.

Given the economic outlook is trending in a relatively positive direction, corporate travel budgets are starting to increase this year. However, despite the steady volume of trips, geopolitical events can often bring a level of uncertainty to the economy. Therefore, businesses are also closely monitoring their budgets and travellers are shifting some of their booking behaviours and preferences to maximize spend. One key trend that the report highlighted is that business travellers are booking trips more in advance, as well as taking longer trips. The average advanced booking days have increased to 23.3 (+1.5), while the average days away have increased to 4.4 (0.3).

After a strong start to 2024, with consumer confidence and the demand on the rise yet again, we’re looking forward to seeing the business travel momentum carry through into the rest of the year,” said Ashley Gutermuth, Head of FCM Consulting, Americas. “Given the increased demand and positive economic outlook, it’s been an encouraging sign to see companies start to increase their corporate travel budgets and further embrace the return to the air.

Another key trend that has continued on the supply side this year – more seats with less flights. The forecast for North America is that there will be +9% more seats and -7% less flights offered between May and December 2024, compared to 2019. The global forecast is that there will be +3.6% more seats above the 2019 averages, signaling supplier confidence across the world. Furthermore, the forecast of seats offered by the top global airlines is set to be +6% above 2019, with the number of flights down 1%. Low-cost carriers have also been performing well, representing over 31% of global seats offered in 2024 to date.

On the accommodation side, the average room rates (ARR) in North America increased just US$5 (+2%) in Q1-24, compared to Q1-23. Some of the cities seeing the largest rate increases include New York (+US$325), Denver (+US$262), and Vancouver (+US$316), while Los Angeles (-US$226), Boston (-US$291), and Mexico City (-US$194) saw some of the largest rate decreases. The report also analyzed the car rental market and the global average daily rate (ADR) this past quarter was US$51, a US$22 drop in price from the 2023 ADR.

For more information on the FCM Consulting Global Quarterly Trend Report, please visit here.

About FCM

FCM is one of the world’s largest travel management companies and a trusted partner for thousands of national and multi-national organizations, including many household brands, Fortune, and FTSE 100 companies. With a 24/7 reach in over 100 countries, FCM’s agile and flexible technology anticipates and solves client needs supported by expert teams who provide in-depth local knowledge and duty of care as part of the ultimate personalized business travel experience. As the flagship corporate travel arm of Flight Centre Travel Group, FCM is able to deliver some of the most competitive rates, unique added-value benefits, and exclusive solutions for its clients to support their business travel requirements.

A recognized leader in the travel tech space, the company has debuted several proprietary client solutions over the last 12 months including a new omnichannel platform featuring a "first of its kind" customized end-to-end user experience and FCM Booking, an innovative option to traditional OBTs. Alongside its travel management services, the company also provides specialist services through FCM Consulting and FCM Meetings & Events to service the broader needs of its clients. Discover the alternative at www.fcmtravel.com

Media Contact

Amra Durakovic – Flight Centre Travel Group

Head of PR and Communication – Flight Centre Canada


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