Some buyers still are wrapping up negotiations?a few more than usual, as many are facing not only a sliding outlook in the hotel industry but also instability with their own company travel budgets. Meanwhile, Kathy Pruett, senior director of consulting at BCD Travel consulting arm Advito, reported that preliminary estimates for clients' 2009 hotel rates had buyers paying a range of 3 percent less to 3 percent more for hotels in North America.

Other buyers reported that some hotels they bumped from their programs in recent years because of high rate requests and resistance to negotiation have been returned to their programs at more moderate pricing levels.

These final results follow a long period of renegotiations for buyers. As negotiations started in late summer, prior to the economic collapse on Wall Street, hotels were asking buyers for fairly substantial rate increases.

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