Peter Moen, vice president of global business development for Carlson Marketing Worldwide, said that he has seen the trend on the group side since the beginning of this year, and that hotels are "a little more hungry for business" than before.

"Since about the early first quarter of this year, we've seen a significant change from hotels to indicate that we are actually turning a corner toward more of a buyer's market," Moen said. "Our site searches come back with a lot more availability than they did over the last couple of years. We're getting contacted by the hotels a lot more frequently about available space a lot more than we used to. On the group side, we're seeing a very significant trend that's been ongoing since the early part of this year."

"Lately, we've started to see softening of the economy and a lot of companies cutting back on travel dollars. That's going to create another perfect storm," said Experient executive vice president and chief customer officer Brad Weaber. "As well, you have the multiple hotel inventories coming on board. Predictions right now are looking at late '08 for seeing a shift not only in occupancy percentages, but also in average daily rate."

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