This year's per diem increase comprised a 6.6 percent increase in average hotel costs, including taxes and surcharges, which offset a nearly 6 percent drop in the average daily car rental cost (with taxes) and a 2.5 percent decline in the average daily cost of meals while traveling.
Per diem changes vary quite a bit by market, ranging from a 13.1 percent increase in San Francisco to a 6.9 percent decrease in Orlando. Key business centers showing increases include New York (7 percent), Boston (6.1 percent), Chicago (4.9 percent), Los Angeles and Charlotte (each 4.3 percent), Atlanta (3.5 percent) and Washington (1.5 percent). Most overall per diem declines generally were minimal, including Houston and Dallas (each down less than 1 percent).
"Over the past years, there's been a bit of a slowdown" in travel prices generally, said U.S. Travel Association senior vice president of research David Huether. "The pace of acceleration has moderated."
The association observed a 3.3 percent increase in travel costs in 2012, as measured by its Travel Price Index, and projected a 3 percent increase for this year. U.S. Travel's Travel Price Index includes airfares whereas BTN Corporate Travel Index per diems do not.
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