Global Travel Momentum Flies with Increased Booking Days and Online Adoption 

Asia had the highest seat growth of 12.2% and Asia’s demand is fuelling robust room rates with an increase of 26%

10 May, 2023

Q1-2023 has seen the positive momentum of H2-2022 continue in both business and leisure travel with demand across the world forecast to be at 85.5 per cent of 2019 levels this year, according to FCM Consulting’s latest Global Trends Report.

Q1-2023 corporate travel demand remained strong despite the mixed economic conditions, with securing options and booking lower prices driving corporate travellers to book online, early.

Domestic booking trends for Q1-2023 versus Q1-2022 saw a 27 per cent rise in online adoption, the advance booking days extended from 17 to 19, and average days away held firm at 2.9. The report also showed that in-person meetings was the leading reason for corporate travel.

On the accommodation side of things, global hotel occupancy for the quarter was 60.46 per cent, only four per centage points below the occupancy levels of 2019.

Stabilisation Returning to Air Travel

After 2022, a year full of significant imbalance of both supply and demand, air travel is predicted to stabilise this year, seeing added capacity in H1-2023 and airfares moderating in the second half 2023. Data showing Q1-2023 seat capacity was up 2.1 per cent on Q4-2022 and down 6.8 per cent on Q1-2019.

Early forecasts show air capacity offered in 2023 will be just 2.5 per cent short of 2019 volumes.

Lift Off in Asia – With 12.2 Per Cent Seat Growth

The region with the highest seat growth in Q1-2023 vs Q4-2019 was Asia with a 12.2 per cent increase, with most other regions averaging two per cent growth.

The exception to this was Europe which saw an 8.7 per cent decline as the region balanced changes in demand – but the Northern Hemisphere summer will drive demand in Q2 and Q3-2023.

94% Return of Airline Seats Forecasted in 2023 versus 2019

The forecast across seats offered from 20 major airlines for a full calendar year reports a 94 per cent return of seats in 2023 versus 2019. Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways and Qantas Airways have a seat forecast of 97 per cent as travel normalises.

23% Increase in Business Class Fare Cost in Asia

While the global average of international business class fares increased by 18 per cent in the first two months, Asia experienced an increase of 23 per cent. Discounted economic fares increased by 14 per cent internationally while Asia had a 15 per cent increase.

Mumbai to London saw the highest increase of 26 per cent in discounted economy fares while business class fares from Dubai to Shanghai increased by 47 per cent.

Asia Demand Fuelling Robust Room Rates

Q1-2023 saw all six regions surpass Q4-2022 average room rates by 4-26 per cent, with Middle East rising by 22 per cent, Europe up 19 per cent, Latin America increasing by 12 per cent, Australia/New Zealand up 12 per cent, North America rising four per cent, and a 26 per cent increase in Asia’s room rates. 

As China opened borders, the rebound across Asia was significant with an increase of 26 per cent. Room rates in Tokyo averaged at USD$294, Singapore at USD$269, Seoul USD$239 and Hong Kong at USD$224, making Tokyo the most expensive city to stay in Asia.

On the accommodation front, there is also a growing demand for one of the most successful traveller offerings in recent years – lifestyle hotels – focused on travellers who want to experience something unique.

Hotels that have lobbies to encourage interaction, offer green initiatives, have slick technology, and wellbeing choices are some ingredients customers are looking for. 

“Despite mixed economic conditions, corporate travel demand remained strong in Q1-2023. High global inflation rates continue to put pressure on costs and the travel industry eco-system has reviewed operating costs, changed pricing, upgraded technology to drive efficiency to reduce underlying costs and removed disruption and risks,” said Bertrand Saillet, Managing Director of FCM Asia.

“Not only are in-person meetings the leading reason for corporate travel but business travellers are also booking online, early, to secure lower prices. Domestic booking trends for Q1-2023 versus Q1-2022 also saw a 27 per cent increase in online adoption,” added Saillet.

About FCM

FCM is one of the world’s largest travel management companies and a trusted partner for thousands of national and multi-national organisations, 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 personalised business travel experience. While as the flagship corporate travel arm of the ASX-listed Flight Centre Travel Group, FCM is able to deliver the best market-wide rates,


unique added-value benefits, and exclusive solutions for its clients to support their business travel requirements. A recognised leader in the travel tech space, the company has debuted several proprietary client solutions over the last 12 months including a new omni-channel platform featuring a ‘first of its kind’ customised 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

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