Business travel trends.

Author:Heffes, Ellen M.

Faced with continued turbulent economic times, companies are eyeing business travel budgets more diligently than ever. In its annual forecast of business travel trends, Egencia, a division of Expedia Inc., captured opinions of travel manager and travelers during tumultuous weeks in September and October.

Its projections covered market-by-market predictions for air and hotel pricing and a Negotiability Index that illuminates relative purchasing power across 15 key United States and five international business destinations.

Contrary to early predictions, average airline ticket prices may stay relatively flat or drop this year. This suggests companies' purchasing power may actually increase since airlines tend to reduce capacity less in business markets than in vacation destinations. Any amount of downturn in business travel will hurt some markets and put pressure on hotels to reduce rates as well.

The souring economy did prompt some companies to alter their travel budgets. The Egencia forecast--which includes feedback from 200 travel manager...

To continue reading