Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Travolution@NBTA in Chicago - Part 2: Not just the heat rising

The worst thing about attending a conference in the US in July is the oppressive heat – with humidity it feels like 45 and the British contingent is less than pleased.

Thankfully, those of us who made the trek to Chicago for NTBA have been preoccupied by some rather interesting news, not the least of which is that airline and hotel prices have officially reached an all time high.

According to reports released here by American Express, international business class airfares (including premium economy) are up by 7% in the first quarter, compared with the same period in 2005.

BCD Travel reported average international fares are up by 10% year-on-year, while hotel rates have risen at a similar pace, up 10% over the past 12 months.

As one might expect, the leading cause for the increase in airfares is the soaring price of oil, followed by labour and distribution costs. As for hotels, it’s a simple matter of demand outstripping supply.

Fox News, America’s “fair and balanced” news station, (which has apparently warned US citizens the current Israeli-Hezbollah crisis indicates the start of World War Three!!!), reported that the nation’s temperatures, like airline and hotel prices, have also achieved a record high.

Hmm…the phrase Global Warming comes to mind, but, hey, this is America so we won’t see that issue on the conference agenda.

[Tricia is an American, just in case Travolution is accused of US-bashing! - Ed]

Tricia Holly Davis, freelance journalist in Chicago

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