The 2012 edition of the Business
Travel News Corporate Travel Index, an annual effort to establish business
travel per diems for 200 cities around the world, illustrates the tentative
recovery experienced in 2011 by the industry. Hotel and food prices throughout
all global regions generally rose when compared to 2010 levels, but the
magnitude of those increases varied by cost segment and region.
To that end, BTN
for the first time separated its roster of Corporate Travel Index cities
outside the United States into three regions—the Americas (excluding the United
States); Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and Asia/Pacific. This orientation
reflects the operational geographical divisions used by many global companies
and facilitates closer comparisons of business travel prices in specific
[Please click here to view the digital edition of the 2012 Corporate Travel Index, featuring all per
diem listings, downloadable as a pdf.]
All per diems are based on hotel prices paid by BCD Travel
corporate clients and food cost benchmarks supplied by consulting firm Mercer
Inc; U.S. per diems also include car rental prices paid by BCD corporate
clients, while non-U.S. per diems include miscellaneous costs calculated by
Mercer. The full Corporate Travel Index methodology is detailed below.
For the first time in several years, the 2012 edition of the
Corporate Travel Index contains neither major methodological changes from the
previous year nor any changes to its roster of 200 cities, enabling more
precise analysis of year-over-year changes to travel price data. Each table of
data includes annual changes in travel prices for cost segments in each city
Such data shows an aggregate year-over-year increase of 4.1
percent in total per diem costs outside the United States—5.3 percent in
Asia/Pacific; 4.6 percent in the Americas region (excluding U.S.); and 3.7
percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Inside the United States, the
average total per diem cost rose by a more modest 0.9 percent, a figure
affected by a 2.9 percent decline in the daily cost of a car rental, a cost
category not included in Corporate Travel Index per diems outside the United
States. Total per diems as listed in this Corporate Travel Index are $287.76 in
the United States and an average of $366 elsewhere—$389 in Europe, the Middle
East and Africa; $359 in Asia/Pacific; and $303 in the Americas.
2012 CORPORATE TRAVEL INDEX METHODOLOGY
The 2012 edition of the Business
Travel News Corporate Travel Index is based on actual prices paid in 2011
by corporate clients of BCD Travel, provided to BTN by BCD's Advito consulting arm, as well as research conducted
by BTN director of research and media
strategy David Meyer and New York-based consulting firm Mercer Inc.
U.S. Corporate Travel Index
Total U.S. per diems listed are compiled by adding the
average hotel, car and food costs listed on subsequent pages. BTN calculated the year-over-year change
percentages in relation to total 2010 per diems listed in the 2011 Corporate Travel Index, which were compiled in the same manner as this year's data.
Hotel: The hotel
cost charts display average upper upscale, upscale and midprice hotel rates
paid by BCD Travel corporate clients from January to November 2011, in addition
to an overall average daily rate. That overall rate is not calculated by
averaging rates from the three listed tiers, as it also incorporates luxury and
economy tiers. Average hotel costs include 2011 sales and occupancy taxes and
surcharges based on information collected from each city's convention and
visitors bureau, chamber of commerce or other public data. Year-over-year
percentage changes are calculated inclusive of tax and surcharge data.
Car Rental: The
car rental costs are averages for each city based on actual rates paid by BCD
Travel corporate clients from January to November 2011 for compact,
intermediate and full-size rentals, and include taxes and surcharges, also
calculated by Advito. Year-over-year percentage changes are calculated inclusive
of tax and surcharge data.
Food: BTN this year commissioned New York
consulting firm Mercer Inc. to survey restaurateurs and calculate the cost of
standard meals in each location. Totals reflect January 2012 pricing for a
breakfast of two eggs, meat, toast, orange juice and coffee; a lunch of soup, a
hamburger or chicken sandwich, a slice of pie and a soft drink; and a dinner of
soup, filet steak, a glass of red wine, dessert and a cup of coffee. The listed
costs do not include tax but do include a 15 percent gratuity.
Americas, EMEA & Asia/Pacific Corporate Travel Index
As with U.S. Corporate Travel Index data, per diems for the
100 listed cities outside the United States are based on prices paid in 2011 by
corporate clients of BCD Travel, provided to BTN by BCD's Advito consulting arm, as well as research conducted
For the Americas (excluding the United States),
Europe/Middle East/Africa and Asia/Pacific regions, BTN calculated year-over-year change percentages against total per
diems listed the 2011 Corporate Travel Index, which were compiled in the same
manner as this year's data. Those changes were not calculated using constant
U.S. dollars; instead, local prices were converted to U.S. dollars using
exchange rates from Jan. 12, 2012, and measured against 2011 Corporate Travel
Index per diems, which used exchange rates from Jan. 28, 2011.
Advito provided to BTN average
upscale daily hotel rates paid by BCD Travel corporate clients from January to
November 2011. For the miscellaneous category, Mercer included the costs of two
taxi fares, a newspaper, a bottle of water and a magazine.
provided to BTN actual January 2012
menu item costs for hotel continental breakfasts; lunches of sandwich, salad
and a nonalcoholic drink; and dinners of a fish, chicken or beef entree, salad
and a nonalcoholic beverage.
originally appeared in the March 19, 2012, edition of Business Travel News.