U.S. travelers can expect room rates to rise 6.5 percent next year, despite an expected slowdown in the economy, the travel industry's main trade group forecast on Friday.

"Hotels will continue to raise rates aggressively," said Dr. Suzanne Cook, vice president for research at the Travel Industry Association of America. Although some new hotels are being built, demand still exceeds supply in some markets.

Nationwide, Cook said tourism expenditures are expected to grow 7.5 percent this year to $702.5 billion before moderating next year to 5.3 percent, reaching $739.6 billion. Those figures are not adjusted to account for inflation, Cook said. "Over the next few years we expect growth in spending to slow, but still to have positive growth in spending," Cook said.

Business travel is part of the slowdown, Cook said. With Fortune 500 leaders forecasting weaker growth, they are keeping tight rein on travel budgets, she said. Audio and video conferencing continue to grow as alternatives to business meetings. Cook said she expects no growth in the number of business trips this year and only 1 to 2 percent growth next year.

The outlook for leisure travel is a bit sunnier, with growth of 2 percent forecast this year and 1 to 2 percent next year, Cook said.

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