Airfares are climbing faster than forecast last fall in markets with the strongest demand, according to BCD Travel’s midyear update to its 2018 Industry Forecast. Meanwhile, the outlook for global hotel rates in 2018 remains unchanged, with a 2 percent to 4 percent increase predicted over last year. As the economic outlook improves, according to the report, strong global air travel and rising oil prices are helping to push up fares. Charuta Fadnis, BCD Travel’s senior director of research and analytics, said initial forecasts for 2018 remain largely on target, with the adjustment upward a result of higher international economy fares. The report also analyzes how airlines are eager to lower distribution costs and develop better ways of marketing their offerings across their own sales channels. Some major European-based airline groups have started to levy surcharges for tickets bought through non-direct channels. This has led to increased costs for customers buying tickets through third-party channels, like global distribution systems (GDS). The report explores the implications and impact of this development.