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Business spending on airfare, hotels grew in 2011 but not food

April 29, 2012|By Hugo Martin

Spending on business travel continued to grow in 2011 and the biggest chunk of that money went to airfare and lodging costs, according to a new study.

But it seems that business travelers are spending a bit less on food.

The average expense report filed by U.S. business travelers for airfare in 2011 was $418, up nearly 7% compared with the previous year, according to the study of expense reports analyzed byConcur Technologies Inc., the Redmond, Wash., company that provides travel expense software and online systems.

The average lodging charge was about $89, up about 4%, according to the study. Together, airfare and lodging represented almost 54% of travel costs in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the average food expense entry was about $38, a 4% decline compared with the previous year.

Mike Hilton, co-founder of Concur, said the drop in dining costs could reflect the business world’s desire to continue to approve business trips but reduce overall travel expenses.

“The reality is that for most companies, when the price of air travel goes up, they try to get cost savings from somewhere else,” he said. “Instead of eating at a nice steakhouse, you are dropping it down a notch or two.”

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