But buyers expect business to grow
Travel costs in America will be "relatively flat" in 2010 compared with this year, the latest survey by the National Business Travel Association (NBTA) said.
The Association predicted a fall in hotel rates of between 2% and 8%, a drop in car hire rates of between 1% and 3% and air fares varying between a 2% fall and a 3% rise.
But the survey, which quizzed 180 US-based buyers, said 69% expected business travel to grow in 2010.
More than half (56%) of the respondents said they planned to increase their spend in 2010 while 31% said it would remain flat.
The buyers were also optimistic that they could negotiate better deals with suppliers for next 2010 with 70% saying they expected better hotel deals and more than 30% expecting better rates from both airlines and car companies.
Craig Banikowski, NBTA's new president and ceo, said: "Travel management is once again quickly responding to shifting business cycles to help companies optimise their travel investments to maximize profits.
"As the economic recovery begins taking hold in 2010, companies will take advantage of low travel costs to send employees on the road in greater volumes, thus fuelling the recovery."
"The uptick in business travel in 2010 will take place within the framework of a new corporate culture in terms of travel.
"In the 'new normal,' we see stronger travel mandates, greater use of pre-trip approval and audits, tighter restrictions on premium class travel, more focus on travel ROI, and enterprise-wide strategic meetings management."