These are people who tend to make their hotel and travel reservations themselves, in contrast to managed travelers, whose companies handle this task for them or contract it out to a travel agency.

Online U.S. bookings, which account for more than half of the nation's total, are split almost evenly between business and leisure. Unmanaged business travel is a fast-growing market for the agencies and one worth fighting for in an industry that may be approaching its saturation point in the United States.

According to PhocusWright data, the unmanaged business travel market -- both online and offline --- will be worth $36.8 billion in 2008, up from $30.7 billion in 2005. It expects 82 percent of all unmanaged business bookings to be online in 2008, compared with 68 percent in 2005.

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