Entrepreneur magazine has released its 13th Annual Business Travel Awards recognizing the best companies and products for entrepreneurs and business owners. According to Business Travel News (BTN), small and midmarket companies spent $27.5 billion on business travel in 2005. Despite rising hotel, airfare and car rental prices, business travel is at an all-time high. The Travel Industry of America's (TIA) "Annual Travel Forecast" predicts a 1.6 percent increase in volume for 2006 and a 2.5 percent increase for 2007 -- a 9.6 percent increase over 2002. Entrepreneurs are "unmanaged business travelers" -- they typically run companies without travel departments. With travel prices projected to rise within the next year, finding the most cost-effective ways to travel is more important than ever for these travelers. Without a department to take care of their planning or expenses, entrepreneurs often pay for travel out of their pockets, so they are more likely to find creative solutions to cost issues. Entrepreneur's editors chose travel suppliers that offer the most value -- those companies that have the best products or services at the most affordable prices. Also highlighted are the best accessories for business travel. These "must-haves" give entrepreneurs a glance at new trends in travel gear, luggage and tech tools that will help them get around in comfort and style. The list of winners for 2006 includes three winners from last year. This year's winners are:
• Best Airline Value: AirTran Airways and Jetblue Airways (tie)
• Best Budget Hotel Value: Holiday Inn Express
• Best Midprice Hotel Value: Hilton Garden Inn
• Best Upscale Hotel Value: OMNI Hotels
• Best Car Rental Value: Budget Rent A Car
• Best Site for Travel Deals: Kayak.com
• Best Site for Travel Advice: JoeSentMe.com