by By Sarah J.F. Braley | January 01, 2009

chart1As budgets contract throughout corporate America, meet­ing planners are being careful about the dollars they spend while out of the office.

In an M&C survey conducted online this past November, 88 percent of the 148 respondents said their organizations have requested that they cut back on their travel expenses. For 45 percent of the sample, those cuts have been mandated, while 43 percent reported they have been casually asked to watch their spending.

Almost three-quarters of those surveyed have been asked to reduce the number of trips they take; 47 percent are staying at less expensive hotels and 33 percent are taking shorter trips. Other strategies include taking taxis instead of black-car service to the airport (18 percent) and opting to rent smaller cars (18 percent).

Of the 71 percent who follow a per diem or other spending guidelines for meals, 14 percent said that allowance has been cut.

More than half of respondents (57 percent) said they are being asked by management to provide more proof or justification of their travel expenses.