Buyers negotiating for 2008 hotel rates are finding a heavy cost to last-room availability in key markets, hoteliers are receiving more queries as to their environmental policies and both are seeing the process from request for proposals to agreement elongate and increase in complexity.

Buyers are facing a negotiating climate in terms of rates only marginally better than what they faced last year, said Bjorn Hanson, principal of PricewaterhouseCoopers' hospitality and leisure group. Corporate rates will increase by 5.25 percent on average after negotiations, PwC's Hanson said.

"The range of negotiated increases will be larger than last year, meaning those companies that have large, reliable commitments will fare a little bit better than those companies that didn't meet their targets last year," Hanson said. "It's more in the 4 percent to the 6.75 percent range."

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