Book your European vacations now, people.
According to the 2018 Global Travel Forecast, travel prices in Europe are expected to rise in the next year, with nearly 4% increases in some destinations.
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This fourth annual forecast by the Global Business Travel Foundation shows that global airfares are expected to rise 3.5% and hotel prices are expected to increase 3.7% in 2018. Ground transportation (taxis, trains and buses) is expected to rise only 0.6%.
The rise in costs may be due to current political anxieties and unpredictable safety measures that travelers must take into account when they go abroad: “Geopolitical risks, uncertainties in emerging markets and ever-changing political environments in Europe and the United States mean today’s travel professionals have more than ever to take into account when building their travel programs,” said Jeanne Liu, GBTA Foundation vice president of research.
However, the new numbers are not all bad news. The rising rates also reflect a better world economies — and predict consumers' willingness to spend more.
“The higher pricing is a reflection of the stronger economy and growing demand,” said Kurt Ekert, president and CEO, Carlson Wagonlit Travel. “The global numbers from this forecast should be considered strong leading indicators of what 2018 will mean for global businesses, as we anticipate higher spending.”
Global flight and hotel rates outside of Europe are more varied.
Middle East and African countries expect a 3% rise in flight rates — smaller due to ongoing security threats and an oil industry that is still in recovery. Similarly, only a 0.6% increase in hotel rates. Asia Pacific is expected to see a 2.8% rise in 2018 flight pricing with domestic demand increasing, particularly in China and India. Hotel prices are likely to rise 3.5% overall, but with a large discrepancy as Japanese prices are expected to fall 4.1%, but New Zealand is set to rise a full 9.8%.
Related: U.S. Issues Travel Alert for Europe
North America prices are forecast to rise 2.3%, while Canadian airlines are expected to aggressively compete given new market entrants and capacity growth of about 11% in 2017, and 12% in 2018.
“North American hoteliers may be banking on economic growth as demand has levelled off since mid-summer 2016, but supply is expected to continue growing steadily through 2018,” the report states. “With international travel projected to grow 4% in 2017 and 2018, U.S. hotel growth is expected to be concentrated primarily along with the West Coast and in Washington D.C.”