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by Michael J. Shapiro | May 18, 2011

 North American corporate travel buyers expect travel budgets to grow this year, according to the Global Business Travel Association's report, "The 2011 Industry Pulse: Business Travel Buyers' Sentiment," released last week. The report, which surveyed 253 travel buyers in March, found that corporations will spend more on travel this year, driven primarily by increased airline fees (noted by 71 percent of respondents) and higher rates and fares (69 percent). Travel buyers also indicated that more trips (59 percent) and more travelers (37 percent) would contribute to larger budgets. Those surveyed are bracing for rate and fare increases between 3 and 5.5 percent this year, according to the survey. More than half (60 percent) feel that the economy is faring better this year than last, and 57 percent expect that trend to continue this year. GBTA members can access the full report at gbta.org/foundation/resourcelibrary. Non-members can purchase the report by contacting research@gbta.org.