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Highs and Lows

Travel costs are up, but some companies are giving business travelers a break.

This story appears in the July 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

"Every sector of the travel industry will be up, up, up, this summer," says Suzanne Cook of the Travel Industry Association of America. "The momentum in travel recovery that began last year is continuing, and Americans are traveling in record numbers."

  • That's great news for the travel industry, but not for companies trying to control travel costs--higher demand means higher prices. Car rental rates are up an average of 10 percent to 15 percent over last year. Hotel prices in many major cities are skyrocketing, and hotels are regularly selling out in super-hot markets like Boston and Manhattan. Recently imposed fuel surcharges are bumping up airfares. Even airport parking rates are on the rise.
  • Since small businesses usually don't have the volume to negotiate lower prices, finding travel deals is tough. And when they do find deals, travelers get bogged down in the fine print or have to jump through too many hoops to realize true savings.

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