The Association of Corporate Travel Executives says 71% of its member companies now plan to spend less on travel this year than in 2008. That's a huge and unprecedented shift in corporate travel managers' plans from just five months ago, says Susan Gurley, the association's executive director.

In September, when the association - whose members typically manage travel budgets of $50 million to $100 million a year at midsize or large U.S. corporations and institutions - asked about travel spending plans, only 33% of respondents said they expected to cut back. In fact, 36% said they would be spending more on travel in 2009

Most companies are seeking to spend 10% to 20% less on travel than they were expecting to spend just five months ago, the latest survey shows. Using the most conservative figures for estimating the dollar impact of such cuts, the ACTE suggests that the 176 member companies that responded collectively will spend about $880 million less on travel this year than they had planned.

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