A pickup in business travel accounted for half of the 4.5 percent increase in demand for hotel rooms in 2004, according to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study.

The business travel recovery accounted for an additional 110,000 rooms rented daily in the year ended Sept. 30, the study said.

For 2005, the consulting firm predicts business demand for rooms will inch up 0.8 percent, a slowdown from the 2.3 percent increase last year.

Luxury and upscale lodgings got more than their share of the growth in the business travel segment, the study said.

"Upscale" hotels account for 9 percent of business travel demand, and growth in the segment was 17 percent last year, the study said.