How can travel agents market to the SA domestic traveller?

“We have set aside R100 million that will be utilised to promote domestic tourism. We need innovative ways to market our tourist destinations and product offerings to entice our citizens to travel and experience South Africa.”

It is these words from our Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom that has prompted SA Tourism to join forces with ASATA, as SA Tourism is looking to the South African travel agent for ‘innovative’ ways to market to the SA domestic traveller.

 

To help you along your way, we want to give you some tips and pointers on how to best market to the South African domestic traveller.

Important to know for example, is that South Africans get inspired to holiday domestically when they hear about the holiday experiences of their friends and family, or when there are are sports or musical events being organised at the destination. Also media promotions will entice the South African traveller.

The BUILD traveller, who hasn’t travelled yet but has the right background to do so, will mainly be inspired by word-of-mouth. However, also he/she can also be inspired by media promotions on the radio, promotional ads in magazines and news about different places. Travellers wish to see and experience what they see and hear through these sources, and they will use the Internet to select destinations. Also other travellers’ photos on social media websites (such as Facebook) help in choosing a destination.

Although the BUILD market is a challenging market for the travel agent to reach, travel agents who do want to reach out to this traveller need to remember that this group of travellers has a strong preference for beaches and seaside locations, but also enjoy holidaying around places with plenty of greenery. The budget this traveller sets aside for a trip of about a week will range between R2000 and R5000 per person.

The CONVERT traveller, who has already travelled but not for leisure, will be inspired by activities (such as diving and swimming) and events. Travel agents wanting to market to this traveller will need to take to social media, as convert travellers mainly refer to travel-related posts on social media along with travel review websites. However, also the brochures and advertisements of travel agencies in newspapers will speak to them.

 

Travel agents will need to remember that the convert traveller sees the bush, the beach and the mountains as ideal holiday destinations. No technology and no civilisation are some of the characteristics these travellers associate with their dream destinations. The budget this traveller sets aside for a week’s holiday is between R5 000 and R7 000 per person.

The ‘been there, done that’ DEFEND traveller, has travelled extensively, and will find inspiration through word of mouth of friends as well as sports and musical events. They mainly turn to travel review websites to research a destination. Also social media has important role to play, as travellers see other travellers’ photos on social media websites (such as Facebook) and engage with them to get information on their trip.

Travel agents wanting to reach out to the affluent DEFEND traveller, will need to keep in mind that Beach and Islands are the most popular dream destinations as they long for peace and solitude. Also the mountains are a popular getaway, as these travellers like the snow. The budget DEFEND travellers set aside for a week’s holiday is between R10 000 and R15 000 per week.

For more insights on Domestic Tourism, stay posted to ASATA’s newsletter, website and social media…

How can we profile the South African domestic traveller?

With a potential 3,6 million South African domestic travellers keen to explore the country, South African Tourism decided to join forces with ASATA and start actively selling holidays in South Africa.

But who is the South African traveller and how can travel agents best target him or her? SA Tourism did the research and revealed there are three important groups of potential travellers in South Africa:

  • BUILD: “I have the means to travel, but am not travelling yet.” There is a need to BUILD the culture of travel in this group.
  • CONVERT: “I travel, but only for work.” There is a need to CONVERT this group to start travelling for leisure holidays.
  • DEFEND: “Been there, done that!” This group is mature in terms of holiday travel, so there is a need to DEFEND and ensure up-sell

By far, the largest group of travellers are the BUILD travellers. They have started dreaming about holidays and would like to de-stress, explore the country and go spend time with their friends and family at the sea. The downside is that these potential travellers have a very limited budget and are not very likely to use a travel agent. They prefer to do their own bookings through travel booking websites.

The convert group probably presents more opportunities for travel agents. These travellers don’t want to stay with ‘oom and tannie’ at the coast. Instead they want to break away from the daily treadmill and really treat themselves by doing absolutely nothing or by exploring the diversity of the country.

Travel agents who want to reach out to the ‘convert’ traveller will need to remember that these travellers like to plan their trips in advance. They are inspired by events and activities, but they perceive South Africa to be an expensive destination. They are also worried about their home and personal security while on a trip, so make sure to highlight the safety of the chosen destination or accommodation.

Finally, the ‘defend’ travellers have done and seen it all, and offer the travel agents great up-sell opportunities. Defend travellers like to get away from home, relax, spend quality time with their families and broaden their horizons during their holidays.

Also ‘defend’ travellers perceive South Africa to be expensive, and say that they can travel overseas at the cost of travelling domestically. However, they can be swayed to take a trip to attend sports and musical events.

For more insights on Domestic Tourism, stay posted to ASATA’s newsletter, website and social media…

 

Domestic Tourism

What prevents South Africans from going on holiday?

 

Did you know that most adult South Africans have never taken a holiday in their own country? SA Tourism has crunched the numbers and seen that the number of domestic trips, total number of domestic travellers and domestic travel spend are even declining.

 

So, what is preventing domestic travellers from taking a holiday in their own country?

 

Affordability is without a doubt the key barrier for South African travellers. They feel their country’s tourism offerings are expensive for the locals – especially during the peak season when everything seems geared towards the international traveller with the strong greenback in his pocket.

 

Although there is not a lot that travel agents can do about their clients’ lack of funds, they can encourage events during the low season. They can advise their clients to book ahead of time, thereby making the cost of the trip easier to ‘digest’ by first paying a deposit. Travel agents can also advise on affordable airfares, and value-for-money accommodation and destinations.

 

That brings us to the second obstacle. South African travellers feel they don’t have enough information about what’s on offer in their own country. They’re keen to expand their horizons and explore unfamiliar destinations. Unfortunately, with only ‘word-of-mouth’ recommendations and no ‘real’ information, they end up going to the usual and same-old destinations.

 

One traveller said: “I can tell you where to find a very nice sushi place in the middle of London but I do not really know about South Africa. I know Margate, Amanzimtoti and all the traditional beach bum places…”

 

The message for travel agents? Make it clear and easy for your clients, and provide them with as much information as possible. For travellers craving information about destinations within their own country, a deal doesn’t necessarily mean price, but rather, the value of the package and the ease of booking it.

 

For more insights on Domestic Tourism, stay posted to ASATA’s newsletter, website and social media…

Domestic tourism

How do South Africans choose their holidays?

Did you know out of the 21.7m South Africans over the age of 18 and earning a personal monthly income, some 3.6m adults would be targetable as holiday travellers by travel agents? That is why SA Tourism would like to team up with ASATA members to promote and sell holidays in South Africa.

Important to know for South African travel agents who want to tap into the domestic tourism niche, is how South Africans choose their holidays. SA Tourism did the research and is happy to share it with you…

It will probably not come as a big surprise that affordability is the most important consideration for SA travellers when choosing a holiday destination. Most South African travellers perceive South Africa’s tourism offerings to be expensive for locals – especially during peak season.

So, travel agents who want to tap into the domestic market, will need to brush up on rand-stretching tips for their clients. Packages are a great option, but travellers say they often feel restricted by the lack of flexibility of travel packages. So, travel agents will need to get creative to attract the budding South African domestic traveller. Make sure however that when selecting affordable options for your clients, you select ‘safe’ options, as this is a major concern for the South African traveller.

Is there a rugby concert in Durban? Is Bieber coming to Cape Town? Sporting and music events are a great inspiration for South Africans to pack their bag and explore the country. Exciting activities, such as diving, hiking or bunjee jumping, can also convince domestic travellers to book that holiday.

Keep your ear to the ground if you want to know what the ‘hip and happening’ destinations are. Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest inspirations for South African travellers. Other travellers’ photos on social media websites also help South Africans make a decision on the choice of their next holiday destination.

Good news for travel agents is that South African domestic travellers tend to book in advance. Most can’t really afford to travel spontaneously; they need to plan according to their budget and work obligations. They’ll do a lot of research online, and some will also book online. But, there are quite a few travellers that want the expertise of a travel agent.

For more insights on Domestic Tourism, stay posted to ASATA’s newsletter, website and social media…

Domestic Tourism

Why do South Africans go on holiday?

‘Why do South Africans go on holiday?’ is an important question to ask for travel agents who want to tap into the domestic tourism market and promote and sell holidays in South Africa. And, South African Tourism is ready to reveal the answer to ASATA members.

It will hardly come as a surprise that the most important reason why South Africans go on holiday is to ‘relax’ and to have a ‘break from the routine’.

Most South Africans also see holidays as the ideal means to reconnect with their families. But that doesn’t mean they want to go visiting friends and family during their holidays. Most South Africans believe that VFR trip are all work and no fun…

Instead of visiting oom en tannie, South Africans rather want to explore new places both internationally and within their own country. They want to experience something ‘different’, and like to participate in exciting activities that will allow them to learn about different cultures and broaden their horizons.

The ‘new’ and emerging South African travellers, who haven’t travelled much before, see a holiday as the perfect opportunity to just get away and have fun. If these travellers can enhance their social status by posting some impressive pics on social media, even better.

The more hardened leisure travellers focus on holidays that will ‘rejuvenate their mind and body’. They tend to have busy work routines, and see their holidays as the perfect time to reward themselves with a trip that will recharge their batteries. The main purpose of their holiday is to reflect, refocus and return as a ‘better person’.

Although quite keen to travel within their own country, most South Africans feel they don’t have enough information about what’s on offer in their home land. As a result, they travel mostly to the familiar and popular destination. And, well… that can get a bit boring.

So, if you want to attract the attention of the domestic traveller, try and find unexplored nature-based destinations where they can experience exciting new activities. And… to let you in on a little secret: the beach is their absolute favourite destination, followed closely by the mountains and the bush.

Who is the South African domestic traveller?

Local is lekker, or so they say, and while selling domestic travel has not really been the preserve of South Africa’s travel agents in the past, this is all about to change as South African Tourism works with ASATA members to promote and sell holidays in South Africa.

Did you know that most adult South Africans have never taken a holiday in the country? That Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) is the main reason that South Africans travel domestically? And that unaffordability is the main reason that South Africans do not travel in their own country.

SA Tourism has crunched the numbers and seen that the number of domestic trips, total number of domestic travellers and domestic travel spend are declining, which means we are behind most destinations when it comes to what domestic travel vs international travel contributes to the economy.

Useful for you to know if you work in travel is that out of 21.7m South Africans over the age of 18 and earning a personal monthly income, some 3.6m adults would be targetable as holiday travellers.

So why do South Africans go on holiday?

South Africans go on holiday to relax mostly and their destination choices are influenced by friends’ recommendations and travel websites and affordability. According to research conducted by SA Tourism, travellers prefer to manage bookings themselves using online travel booking websites.

Holidays are a reward for the hard work they put in their demanding daily routines and a holiday allows them to reflect and refocus, which is important to South Africans.

South Africans believe that travelling domestically for holiday allows them to experience new and different things in the country.  They prefer outdoor, nature-based destinations with the beach being a firm favourite, but the mountains and bush are also appealing.

Because of the high level of VFR travel conducted by South Africans, holidays are also there to help travellers reconnect with their family. Good to note is that most travellers believe that VFR trips restrict their freedom and enjoyment, and burden them with work.

Familiarity brings a degree of boredom to South Africans; thus, they go for holidays to new places in search of different experiences and to break-away from the monotony. Travellers feel restricted at home and wish to get away with friends to be themselves and have fun.

For more insights on Domestic Tourism, stay posted to ASATA’s newsletter, website and social media…

Advisory: VAT on ‘long stays’ revised

Members should be advised that there are changes in the recently reissued SARS GUIDE as it pertains to the wording around ‘long stays’.

If a “commercial accommodation” (defined in paragraph 2.5 on page 10 of the VAT 411 guide attached) is provided by a VAT vendor to a customer or resident, for an unbroken period of 29 days or more, on an “all-inclusive charge” basis, only 60% of the “all-inclusive charge” will be subject to VAT at the standard rate (i.e. currently 14%).

Note that if the domestic goods and services are supplied separately for a separate consideration, then the full charge is subject to 14% VAT (not only 60%).

“Domestic goods and services” are defined –  see paragraph 2.4 (on page 10) and see 5.2.3 (on page 36). Note that the full value of goods and services supplied by the accommodation establishment which do not fall within the definition of “Domestic goods and services” (but which are not exempt or zero-rated) will always attract VAT at the standard rate, whether included in the “all-inclusive” tariff or not.

“All –inclusive charge” is defined –  see paragraph 2.2.

An Enterprise needs to supply at least R120 000 (see paragraph 5.2.4 on page 37) (was R60 000 up to 31 March 2016) receipts and accruals from the supply of accommodation per annum to qualify as an enterprise (it no longer needs this turnover to qualify as a Commercial accommodation. It cannot claim VAT input if it’s not an “Enterprise” for VAT purposes. It needs to de-register from VAT if this type of turnover is less than R120 000 per annum from 1 April 2016.

The on-charging of the initial costs along the supplier chain will be as normal:

  • Supplier 1  (pays VAT output to SARS) charges Supplier 2 (claims VAT input)
  • Supplier 2 (pays VAT output to SARS) charges Customer (pays the Tax Invoice inclusive of the VAT, and cannot claim the VAT input unless it is a VAT vendor qualifying to claim the qualifying VAT).

The above is an opinion and interpretation of the VAT legislation and guide. It covers broad principals only. It is based on information contained in the SARS guide. Any inaccuracies in any areas are not the responsibility of ASATA. The comments should be used as guidance only.

Travel professionals face a bright future

Once upon a time, there used to be travel agents… Hang on…stop that story right there! While travel agents the world over are sometimes described as dinosaurs, extinct and, most recently by a Business Insider report, relics of the past, those travel agents that have evolved to keep up with changing consumer demands are in fact thriving.

The problem with the recent Business Insider report which claimed travel agents were a relic of the past and that the number of agents in the USA was actually half of what it was 15 years ago, is that the study failed to take into account the growing number of independent travel agents in the market.

“Surveys like these are dime a dozen and always based on a very narrow interpretation of the subject,” explains Mladen Lukic, GM Travel Counsellors South Africa. He says the report completely ignores the changes that have taken place in the travel industry over the last decade whereby travel agents have evolved from the corporate monoliths of the 90s representing the embodiment of the ‘Travel Agent’ heritage into ‘Travel Advisers’.

In the strict sense of the word, Lukic says the travel agent is indeed a relic of the past. “In our market we will continue to see the demise of the companies that are unable or unwilling to accept this reality. In this context South African market is just a little bit behind but following the same trends as overseas.”

According to Lukic, the new generation of travel advisers have made a significant departure from a reliance on commission and dependence on supplier sanctioned remuneration to a genuine focus on clients and their needs. “The most successful ones have also realised the value of relationships in the 21st century economy,” he adds.

Garth Wolff, CEO eTravel, agrees and explains that the traditional bricks-and-mortar travel agency is indeed dying as a result of high costs and small margins. The ITC market however, is far from dying, he argues and is actually continuing to grow.

“In South Africa, the traditional bricks and mortar travel agents will continue to diminish. IATA’s new financial criteria will push up costs for the traditional travel agent, who will then start exploring the option of becoming an ITC,” says Wolff, adding that the future of the travel industry is the ITC model.

However, according to Rod Rutter, outgoing COO XL Travel, the ITC sector is not only the only travel agent sector that has a future in South Africa. He explains the corporate market heavily relies on TMCs for data information, payment mechanisms, personal attention and cost saving, he argues. “There will always be a need for TMCs in the corporate market,” he says.

Tourvest Travel Services Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Claude Vankeirsbilck says travel agents have had to change the way they operate and are imperative for those travellers for whom travelling with peace of mind is important. “Our role is to provide a trusted source of advice and information, as well as product and content quickly.

“We have some responsibility to inform our customers and act in their best interest. And that means to tell them what’s happening the the destinations they’re travelling to, suggest travel in a specific way and provide risk communications daily.”

Claude says Duty of Care has become a massive component in any travel management programme. “We have employed technology to help our customers manage risk. We know where our travellers are at any point in time.”

Vanya Lessing, CEO Sure Travel, explains the secret to survival for travel agencies is to move with the times. She says: “The travel agents who did not move with the fast pace of consumer demand, technology and above all, providing customer service excellence, certainly became relics of the past.

“Today’s travel professional understands that customers have choice and that they have to provide not only the product, but a comprehensive travel management service. The value of trustworthy supplier relationships, duty of care and truly knowledgeable, experienced people cannot be underestimated.”

And that’s a wrap…

Another year… some shockers and some highlights. Of course the world of travel is never impervious to, well… the world, and what happens in it, and so 2015 has been an exceptionally challenging one, with all estimations that 2016 will be even harder. Here are some of our low and highlights!

January

We kicked off 2015 with our 21st century Travel Agent theme which underpinned many of ASATA’s activities from our national conference to the launch of a major study into how the industry needs to evolve to suit the 21st century needs of our leisure, corporate and corporate buyer customers.

ASATA and IATA began to work through a joint working group to meet with Commercial Banks to identify a solution to ensure compliance with the New Global Template.

Efforts to lobby Home Affairs to postpone its June 2015 implementation of the new immigration regulations continued in conjunction with the TBCSA member associations, with CEO Otto de Vries heading up the TBCSA Immigration Regulations task team.

February

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After months of nominations, judging and organisation, it was all glitz and glamour in February as the ASATA Diners Club Awards winners were celebrated at a gala event held in Johannesburg. Walking away with the award for Exceptional Commitment was Tourvest Travel Services’ Lidia Folli while Club Travel’s Minette Fourie won the Tomorrow’s Leader award.

Also in February was the launch of the new hand baggage regulations in South Africa, which had many passengers in a bit of a tizzy, but turned out to have few serious repercussions.

ASATA began working on a comprehensive study regarding airlines’ levying of fuel surcharges in an environment where the price of oil had fallen significantly.

March

In March, home-based travel agency group Travel Counsellors joined ASATA and the discussions around  ITC business models began to emerge. Members of the travel industry were also asked to participate in a review of South African Tourism.

ASATA expressed concern over the delays on the adoption of the amended Tourism Sector B-BBEE Scorecard and sought recommendation of the measurement of the entity size. The current definition of turnover placed many travel agencies and tour operators as generic rated entities when they might well be either EMEs or QSEs when rated on service fee income.

April

The issue of fuel surcharges came under scrutiny in April with the launch of ASATA’s comprehensive Fuel Surcharge Study, which was tabled at the World Travel Agents Association Alliance first board meeting and adopted as a global study to be used to lobby airlines to incorporate the fuel surcharge component into their base fares. ASATA’s view is that it is no longer acceptable for airlines to levy a fuel surcharge given the many changes to consumer laws, inclusive pricing and the oil price’s fall.

ASATA’s Member Advisory Forum and National Treasury continued consultations around 30-day payment transgressions and further issues of non/ late payments to ASATA members.

May

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May was conference month and ASATA’s theme of the 21st century Travel Agent underpinned much of the content, including the first-ever Young Professionals In Travel stream. Delegates were given strategic insight and practical tools to ensure their business’ success in the 21st century. The ASATA Mobile App was also launched, as was the first phase of the 21st century travel agent study.

In May, ASATA announced it had concluded a detailed analysis of the pricing transparency concerns raised by members. The findings indicated that ASATA could not regulate prices in itself and that the marking up of surcharges was in direct conflict with the CPA. As a result it was agreed that ASATA would outlaw this and amend its Constitution and Code of Conduct, introducing a special purpose audit that would ensure that members did not contravene this.

June

After months of lobbying, the Immigration Regulation deadline arrived and the tourism and travel sectors began to grapple with the fallout of the “unintended consequences” that the legislation had on the industry.

Travel CEOs took to the streets and braved the bitter Jozi cold to join the CEO Sleepout initiative, helping to raise over R250m for Boys and Girls Town.

In June, Lufthansa Group announced it would charge a booking fee for reservations made through the GDS. ASATA expressed its disappointment that the airline could find no other methods of absorbing their distribution costs and sought legal opinion on the legitimacy in this market of such a measure.

ASATA also refuted Cabinet’s assertion in June that immigration regulations had had “unintended consequences” following the announcement that Cabinet would establish an inter-ministerial team to examine the consequences of the immigration regulations.

July

DYI travel

ASATA launched its Demystifying Travel marketing campaign and its slogan “Travel with Peace of Mind”, creating a range of Facebook and Twitter posts for leisure and corporate travel agents to help demystify some of the ‘travel funnies’ that our customers come up against.

August

ASATA’s Member Advisory Forum on ITCs met for the first time to work on a definition and framework for the ITC model in the South African market and to understand all the roles and responsibilities in the entire value chain. It was agreed that further MAF meetings would be held to define a framework that would protect all members of the chain.

September

Government announced it was creating a new government supplier database on which ASATA-accredited travel agents and TMCs would feature. This was the direct result of months of engagement between ASATA and National Treasury to define terms against which government would procure travel in future.

SA Tourism and ASATA also began discussions to help inspire South Africans travel around their country and encourage a culture of domestic travel. ASATA and SA Tourism will be working together to find opportunities for ASATA members to promote domestic travel. Otto de Vries jointly won the Business Traveller Africa Business Travel Personality of the Year award for the “tireless work” that was done in challenging the changes to SA’s immigration regulations.

Finally, Lufthansa launched its much-contested Distribution Cost Charge for every booking on an LHG airline processed by a GDS.

October

ASATA BoardThe newly appointed ASATA board took the reins to future plan, and future proof the industry by providing a strategic framework for governance in the travel sector through the implementation of 15 key projects.

At the Annual General Meeting, several changes were made to ASATA’s constitution, including the implementation of a special purpose audit to eradicate mark ups on third-party taxes, as well as ensure that the booking class on charged to the customer matched the booking made and that the invoice issued to the customer was a valid tax invoice in terms of the criteria required by SARS Section 20(4) of the Vat Act. Marking up of surcharges, including taxes, airport taxes and other fees imposed on airlines by government authorities is in direct conflict with the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act.

After months of development, ASATA’s new consumer website, aimed at educating the public at large and corporate and government customers about the benefits of using an ASATA member, was launched. A new members-only site is currently under development.

Also new to the block was dynamic industry go-getter Kim Koen who joined ASATA as its GM in October. Kim was instrumental in developing and drafting the travel procurement strategic framework between industry and government.

The New Distribution Capability (NDC) report was released to outline how travel agents could successfully use NDC in future. ASATA members’ views were incorporated in the international study released by WTAAA.

ASATA attended the annual GBTA conference with Otto de Vries profiling why corporate customers should entrust their travel management to ASATA-accredited TMCs.

November

IATA launched its changed IATA BSP ZA financial criteria in November – criteria that was proposed by the Agency Programme Joint Council (APJC) for BSP Southern Africa.  Following concerns raised by ASATA and its members that the timing of the extraordinary financial assessment was far from ideal, IATA agreed to extend the implementation of the local financial criteria for BSP South Africa (ZA) to 1 March 2016.

After years of discussions, the Default Insurance Provider was also approved. The success of the take up and deployment of the DIP was directly aligned with the approval of IATA’s new financial criteria for BSP ZA.

ASATA welcomed the announcement that the Inter-Ministerial Committee around South Africa’s immigration regulations issued recommendations to mitigate the impact that this legislation had on the tourism and travel sector.

Otto de Vries attended the 3rd Summit of Travel Agencies Associations to present several papers to delegates, including the WTAAA report on NDC and outcomes of ASATA’s 21st Century Travel Agent research initiative.

In a bid to raise the profile of ASATA and its members among corporate customers, ASATA attended the African Business Travel Association (ABTA) conference in Cape Town with Kim Koen providing insights into ASATA’s participation in lobbying against the immigration regulations which have had a detrimental impact on the tourism and travel sectors.

December

The implementation of the changes to South Africa’s immigration regulations began to roll out, including the introduction of biometric visas on arrival and the future inclusion of parents’ names within the passports of children under 18 to dismiss the need to carry unabridged birth certificates.

The USA Government voted to overhaul its Visa Waiver Program (VWP), preventing anyone that has travelled to Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan in the past five years from using the programme to enter the United States, while the European Union was in discussions regarding passport-free travel across EU states following the Paris attacks. 

Price increases likely, predicts Amex Forecast

Modest increases in global travel prices and a travel management environment that is coming to grips with evolving disruptors appear to be on the cards for 2016, according to the American Express Global Business Travel Forecast 2016 (the “Forecast”).

The report which predicts air, hotel and ground transportation pricing trends, as well as makes related travel management programme recommendations, says that in Africa, airfares are expected to increase slightly in 2016 as a result of protectionist policies impacting intra-regional flights and higher infrastructure costs.

Given Africa’s limited ground infrastructure, air travel to and from the continent continues to be the most convenient method of travel. However, high operating costs, a lack of low-cost carriers (outside of South Africa), and stringent intra-continental regulation are expected to support fare increases within the region.

“While we expect modest increases in global travel prices heading into 2016, travel managers are operating in an era of new challenges and evolving disrupters,” said Caroline Strachan, Vice President, Consulting, American Express Global Business Travel. “In addition to handling tasks such as measurement and compliance, new factors such as the sharing economy and mobile booking channels are becoming increasingly popular for business travelers. In order to thrive in this digital era, travel managers need to be aware of and dynamically adapt to these forces across a variety of geographies.”

Read about global pricing trends here.