As the Web savvy of workers grows, so does the appeal of such major online travel services as Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz.

Each has opened business portals in recent years, and today a larger percentage of employees of small- and mid-sized companies use them, changing the cost of business travel.

Only a few years ago, traditional travel agencies dominated the corporate travel market. Today, four in 10 business travelers book their trips online, according to Forrester Research, a New York-based market research firm. "Everybody's more Internet savvy today than they were just two or three years ago and the (corporate travel) Web sites are easier to use. The result is the travel industry has changed dramatically," said Henry Harteveldt, vice president of Forrester Research, who explained that 41 percent of business travelers now shop online, up from 37 percent a year ago.

Analysts explain the growing popularity of corporate travel Web sites are changing the way employees book travel, whether they are small businesses or larger corporations with yearly travel budgets of $30 million.

"It's about empowering the executives to make their own travel plans without the aid of other employees," said Lorraine Sileo, an analyst with PhoCusWright, a travel research firm. "They're learning to use online booking tools -- and it's becoming every man for himself for travel bookings."

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