As negotiating season approaches CWT shares some top tips for corporate travel buyers

Recently, Carlson Wagonlit Travel released the fifth annual Global Travel Forecast, which predicted that travel prices would rise sharply in 2019. To coincide with the approaching negotiation season for travel buyers, CWT have gathered twelve top tips from key experts to help buyers succeed in designing a stellar travel programme for 2019.

Global Travel Forecast

According to the report: Air prices are expected to increase +2.6% globally – fuel costs are on the rise – but continued growth in capacity should help keep major price increases in check; Hotel rates are expected to rise +3.7% globally as economic growth and solid business travel demand spur price increases; and despite ride-sharing growth and oversupply of rental fleets, rental cars remain important part of managed travel programmes; prices will rise +0.6% globally. To read more, visit Travel prices are expected to rise sharply in 2019, driven by a growing global economy and rising oil prices.

Tips for negotiating business travel


  1. Consolidate your expense data to get visibility on ancillary spend as unbundled fares and low-cost models become the new industry trends.
  2. Control fare distribution as channels are more and more fragmented and new pricing concepts (branded fares) are not always well displayed.
  3. Monitor changes frequently based on potential swings in pricing.
  4. Negotiate new fares by anticipating forecast price increases – plus any changes in the competitive landscape from mergers and acquisition, new long-haul, or low-cost competition, and other airline strategies designed to increase yield.


  1. Interrogate content on behalf of your travellers by using technology offered by your travel management company (TMC). Save time and effort compared to manually searching on an aggregator site. If it’s not offered by your TMC, ask why.
  2. Optimise your hotel programme by focusing your time and effort on key properties while ensuring an adequate mix of rates. Combine fixed rates such as Last Room Availability (LRA) and Non-Last Room Availability (NLRA) with chain-wide discounts and dynamic pricing.
  3. Analyse the door-to-door impact of travel. Hotel room rates can be optimised through favourable scheduling of your overall trip.
  4. Prioritise security standards and instigate contingency plans with key partners to localise, alert and communicate with travellers.


  1. Leverage your position. There will be an increased effort to raise rates within the car rental industry. Know your current patterns, how your costs are distributed, and insight into the global marketplace.
  2. Ask your car rental suppliers to provide data from your travellers’ bookings to understand how much your organisation is paying in ancillary fees. This enables you to conduct informed negotiations on items that represent the greatest expense.
  3. Focus on more than just rates. Get a complete picture of how your total costs are distributed. It will help you focus on more than just rates.
  4. Look out for charges that are already included in your contracts, such as damage to vehicles your employees did not incur, incorrect refuelling, and GPS charges.