More American-based companies are becoming multinational, many routinely dealing with dozens of countries around the world. The economies of the Pacific Rim and of Latin America are creating new business growth, which offers the potential of new competition and new clients.

That is why business travel is increasing. Business Travel News magazine estimates that some 300,000 companies in the United States have "significant business travel expenses."

Deloitte is a professional services firm that spends more than $200 million a year on plane tickets for its employees and is in the Top 10 in spending on travel. The number of trips those employees take annually has gone up about 20 percent over the last couple of years, according to Michele Bryant, who manages the corporation's employee travel.

At the same time, though, the travel industry has been struggling to keep up with the growing demand for its services.

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