Will Travel to Florida Cost More in 2018?

Well, it was nice while lasted.

According to a study by Carlson Wagonlit Travel and the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association, the decline in airfares occurring in the U.S. over the last two years won’t be seen in 2018. Airfares in North America are expected to rise 2.3%, while hotel rates may increase by as much as 2.9% over the next year, the study said.

Travel costs to other parts of globe are anticipated to take an even larger leap.
The sharp increase marks a departure from recent in-country travel trends, which have seen lower airfares and only minimal rises in hotel rates year over year. Why the change now? Several factors come into play.

Fuel

The average cost of domestic airfare within the United States progressively fell from $402 in 2014 to bottom out at $347 in 2016, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. This downward trend has slowly been reversing itself over the last few months. Political instability, both at home and abroad, has led to a gradual increase in oil and overall fuel costs.

Supply and Demand

Average hotel rates in the U.S. have been fairly stable, with only minor increases over the last two years According to Hotels.com, rates rose from $116 in 2014 to $120 last year … not bad at all.
At the same time, demand for hotel space has been outpacing supply (in terms of growth) since 2000; STR/Tourist Economics expect that to continue going into 2018, even as upgrades and expansions begin to fill the void. Mergers among giant hotel companies will begin to affect prices; a stronger global economy and increased leisure travel have also been driving demand and creating something of a “seller’s market.”

Fraud

Another element influencing travel costs is a sharp rise in consumer fraud, particularly in the area of chargebacks. A chargeback is when a customer asks the credit card issuer to reverse a transaction that has already cleared.

This can be legitimate, if the service or accommodations were not as promised; more and more, however, consumers are filing chargebacks for the slightest of offenses–ones that clearly would not warrant a refund–or worse, simply as a form of “cyber theft.”
Chargebacks are expensive, in that the hotel or airline not only provides its services for free, it also must pay stiff fines to the credit card companies. All of these costs eventually trickle down to the customer in the form of increased rates.

Florida Exclusives

Finally, in addition to all the reasons above, travel in Florida has also been impacted by the most active, costliest, and deadliest Atlantic hurricane seasons in more than a decade. The toll that Irma, Jose, and other storms wreaked on the travel and tourism industries is still being calculated.

Rebuilding damaged areas requires an influx of cash, as well as revenue lost while such repairs are made. To make matters worse, many airlines and hotels dropped rates in the months following the storms, in an attempt to lure travelers back. These costs, as well, will probably result in price increases next year.

Travel NOW!

Despite all of this, experts are predicting healthy growth in the travel sector next year. For consumers, this means that 2016 travel plans should be made as far in advance as possible in order to get the best rates and best range of options.

Times 10 Travel

Being native to Florida, Times 10 offers valuable information to businesses both locally and abroad who are looking to make a viable, effective connection to the state of Florida. Times 10 covers the most widely used methods of travel, and helps deliver effective results to businesses.

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