International Business Travel Costs Competitive, Domestic Nightly Hotel Rates Rise

Travel Leaders Corporate revealed Q2 business travel data related to hotel rates, airline advanced purchase and rental car rates, in addition to trip costs

NEW YORK, NY (August 15, 2017) – Travel Leaders Corporate, an award-winning leader in business travel, has released an analysis of its clients’ aggregate business travel bookings from the second quarter of 2017. Data shows that compared to Q2 2016, average costs for both international and domestic trips remain flat, although prices have risen from Q1 2017. The average overall total cost of a domestic business trip rose to $1,004 from $988, while the international cost increased from $2,167 to $2,310. Total average overall cost includes air, car and hotel averaged together. Additionally, Travel Leaders Corporate’s data showed the average length of domestic business trips is flat compared to last quarter.

In Q2 2017, international business trip total costs rose 7% compared to Q1; however, year-over-year comparisons of Q2 only show a 0.3% increase. When specifically looking at the average international car and hotel costs, those remained relatively flat, while airline costs rose 7% from Q1 to $1,627.

“The trends and data from our business traveler clients show that, generally, the cost of an international business trip continues to be an excellent value for companies,” commented Gabe Rizzi, President of Travel Leaders Corporate. “Despite the 7% rise from last quarter, it remains comparable to last year. The consistently strong U.S. dollar is a factor in this, making international business trips attractive to businesses and travelers alike.”

Travel Leaders Corporate’s data also indicates that domestic business trip components are split between price increases and decreases, averaging out to a higher, overall cost of a business trip.  This is partially due to the price of airline tickets jumping 4% from $412 in Q1 2017 to $427 this quarter. Car rental prices continued to drop: 2% from last quarter although the pricing remains flat compared to Q2 2016. This data is taken from an aggregate of the top 25 markets in the United States. Two notable differences where the average daily rate of a car rental increased were Atlanta (8% higher) and Seattle (6% higher).

Although the average overall cost of a hotel remained relatively flat, the average nightly rate rose this quarter 5% to $160 from $153. In Q1 2017, Travel Leaders Corporate noted that the average length of a domestic business trip grew to slightly longer than three days (the average length of domestic business trips has only been longer one other time in the past seven years). Business trip days remained longer than normal this quarter, leading to higher rates.

“What we’re seeing is that there is a real need for business travel, and the travel management that accompanies it,” Rizzi observed. “The total price of a trip is made up of three major components, and any time one of them fluctuates it can affect the cost. Business trips that require car rental will find excellent prices there, while hotel and air is more expensive this quarter. However, longer business trips indicate that corporate travel is an area that companies see the value in and are willing to focus resources on.”

Travel Leaders Corporate also released data on hotel and car rental costs from the top 25 U.S. markets. Eighteen of these cities experienced an increase in average nightly rates, which also contributed to the higher total domestic trip cost. This quarter, Boston and Seattle showed the largest jumps in nightly hotel rates, with 21% increases ($181 in Q1 2017 to $228 in Q2) and 19% ($166 in Q1 2017 to $199 this quarter), respectively. Several cities showed large declines in hotel prices from Q1 2017; the average nightly rate decreased by 15% in Phoenix, 14% in Las Vegas, and 10% in Fort Lauderdale.

Other key findings:

  • Airline Advanced Purchase: The average number of days that airline tickets were purchased prior to a business trip remained fairly evenly split by category, with 27% of clients purchasing tickets 21+ days before their trip, 20% purchasing 14 to 20 days in advance, 26% purchasing within seven to 13 days, and 28% purchasing zero to six days prior to flying. Travelers saved an average of $117 when purchasing 21 or more days in advance, compared to zero to six days.
  • Rental Cars: The average daily rate for car rentals in the United States is $38, flat to last quarter. It remains the lowest average daily rate since 2010.
  • Trip Costs: Travel Leaders Corporate data on airline advanced purchases, and domestic and international unit and trip costs from air, car and hotel can be viewed here.
  • Hotel Rates: Travel Leaders Corporate data on the average nightly hotel rates in the top 25 U.S. markets can be viewed here.

For more information or to take advantage of Travel Leaders Corporate’s personalized service and cutting-edge corporate business travel solutions that provide a complete travel enrichment experience, email or call 877-404-4173.


Travel Leaders Corporate is part of Travel Leaders Group, which is the highest ranking American travel management company in Business Travel News’ Business Travel Survey 2016, and has annual sales of nearly $21 billion. Travel Leaders Corporate’s three service offerings – Travel Fulfillment, Travel Consulting and Meetings Management – which can be used independently or combined for maximum results. At Travel Leaders Corporate, each client is served by a dedicated team of U.S.-based agents assigned to each account. With a reputation built on reliability and a commitment to excellence, Travel Leaders Corporate offers its clients industry-leading products and services, and continuously seeks higher levels of performance. Headquartered in Plymouth, MN, and with employees in more than 120 cities across the United States, Travel Leaders Corporate is a forward-thinking, innovative company with a focus on continually improving the customer experience.