This year is shaping up to be a "lost year" for group travel, not helped by politicians who have demonized company travel spending, the chief executive of online travel agency Expedia Inc said on Tuesday.

Dara Khosrowshahi said at the Reuters Travel and Leisure Summit in New York that first-quarter corporate travel, which includes day-to-day business trips, has fallen 15-30 percent. Spending for group travel like conferences is likely to fall substantially more than 30 percent, he said.

"There has been this demonization of corporate travel and group travel, which really threatens to fundamentally hurt the infrastructure of travel," he said, urging politicians to support the travel industry.

Source: Reuters