Corporate Travel Business travelers expected to pay less for hotels in 2010 By Nadine Godwin / September 30, 2009 Share 1 -- NEW YORK — Coming off a year that has seen prices fall in all business travel categories, American Express forecasted that prices will rise modestly across most segments in 2010, but not U.S. hotels.In North America, AmEx said it expects mid-range hotels to see rates fall 1% to 4% while those at the upper end will see larger reductions of 3% to 6%. AmEx said pricier hotels face greater pressure on rates because many business travelers have cut costs by buying down. Airlines can reduce capacity and thus maintain or raise prices, but hotels can't do that, pointed out Frank Schnur, American Express' vice president of global advisory services.Hotels will have a hard time bringing up rates in most parts of the world, except in the Asia-Pacific region, where AmEx predicted rate increases of 1% to 6% for midscale and upscale hotels. Globally, mid-range hotels will see rates drop 3% to increase 2%, and upper-range hotel rates will drop 4% to increase 1%, AmEx predicted. In North America, domestic airfares will rise 2% to 7%, AmEx predicted, while international fares will rise 1% to 6%.Latin America was the only region with prospects for airfare drops, with domestic fares projected for 3% reductions to 2% gains and international fares ranging from a 1% drop to a 2% increase.For car rentals in North America, AmEx projected relatively steady pricing, ranging from a 1% drop to a 2% increase. American Express noted that the lower ranges of pricing will likely occur at the start of the year, with higher prices in play as the year progresses.