2016 SME Survey1Air Contracts Better Than Expected
U.S. airlines are raking in record profits amid better cost control and low fuel prices. Yet they still are struggling to gain traction with fares in many markets, thanks to competition from low-cost carriers and other carriers that are growing their networks.
2016 SME Survey2Hotel Negotiations Getting Harder
Hotels in the United States have been riding the
wave of a seller's market for several years, particularly in such cities as San
Francisco, where rates are rising quickly amid limited supply growth. At the
same time, mergers are ramping up, including InterContinental Hotels Group's
acquisition of Kimpton, Accor's acquisition of Fairmont and, biggest of all,
Marriott International's acquisition of Starwood.
2016 SME Survey3Car Rental SME Pricing Traction
Despite industry consolidation over the past several years, each of the three major car rental companies has kept its brands distinct, so the industry remains competitive. The industry also still is trying to balance inventory with demand, and until suppliers do, fleet saturation will continue to stifle pricing growth. Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have eaten away some of car rentals' share, as well, said Carlson Wagonlit Travel's Yon Abad.
2016 SME Survey4Buyers Work with Card Programs
In general, there is no spending minimum for
setting up a corporate card program, so setting them up can make sense even for
companies with as little as $25,000 in spending per year or as few as five
travelers, said Mario Kriebel, vice president of commercial payment solutions
for BCD Travel. Implementation still presents challenges, however, including
employee credit checks and ensuring that fees don't outweigh benefits, he said.