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Economy putting a squeeze on business travel

Current economic conditions are likely to pressure business travelers and visitors coming to the U.S. in 2009, according to the latest outlook from the Travel Industry Association.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Current economic conditions are likely to pressure business travelers and visitors coming to the U.S. in 2009, according to the latest outlook from the Travel Industry Association.

Business travel volume is predicted to drop 3.7 percent this year and 2.7 percent in 2009 as companies pull back on their employees' trips, the group stated.

The leisure sector has been squeezed as consumers and companies tighten their spending due to diminishing credit, the ongoing housing downturn and recession worries. Consumers have continued to downsize their vacations or take "staycations," while businesses scale back on their plans.

Meanwhile, international arrivals to the U.S. are expected to drop by 3 percent next year with modest growth anticipated for 2010.

"As the dollar gains strength and the global economy cools, the need to make America more attractive to international travelers grows," Suzanne Cook, senior vice president of research for the Travel Industry Association, said in a statement.