|By Aaron Low, The Straits Times,
Singapore / Asia News NetworkMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Nov. 28, 2012 --SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN) -- The economic outlook next year may be downbeat but firms should still expect moderate rises in travel spending, said a new report.
Airfares and hotel prices in the Asia-Pacific are expected to rise by moderate levels, given the still robust growth in the region.
Airfares for travel within the region are set to increase by up to 4 per cent next year, said American Express Global Travel.
The picture for flights out of Singapore within the region is slightly different. Airfare changes could range from a 1 per cent fall to a 2 per cent rise, said Dr Carl Jones, the head of Amex Advisory Services for Asia-Pacific.
One factor accounting for the muted increases is the impact of low-cost carriers on the market, he said.
"The presence of low-cost carriers is helping to keep a check on rising prices, despite growth of business travel in the region. And that's a good thing for firms," he said.
For long-haul trips, fares for flights out of Singapore should increase between 1 per cent and 4 per cent. Hotel rates are likely to rise at a slightly faster pace, the report added.
Hotel accommodation could jump by as much as 7 per cent, depending on the county.
For South Korea, hotel rates are likely to grow between 3 per cent and 8 per cent, while for China, the range is 2 per cent to 7 per cent. Singapore's hotel rates could rise between 3 per cent and 7 per cent next year.
"Many Asia-Pacific economies are experiencing a relative slowdown of their economic growth which has led to conservative predictions for change in hotel rates for Asia-Pacific," said Dr Jones.
"Irrespective of how these rates perform, it continues to be important for companies to view their hotel spend as an investment and to ensure that they have an accommodation strategy to support this," he said.
The report also said that the fastest rates of increase for airfares next year are likely to be in Latin America.
Short-haul flights there could rise by as much as 17 per cent next year.
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