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U.S. Federal spending on hotels for the first three quarters of 2012, at $171 million, is about $44 million less than same period in 2011. If the rate continues, it would have spent $57 million less on hotels than in 2011, a 20 percent decrease. Numbers dropped more than 7 percent last year, from $308 million in 2010 to $285 million in 2011.

This decrease is in large part because of budget cuts, increased scrutiny of travel spending and directives from the Obama administration to reduce travel spending. Example: IRS planned to spend 27 percent less on travel in 2012 by using teleconferences and webinars as an alternative to travel to conferences and training sessions.

This spending does not include spending through the General Services Administration’s Smart Pay charge card program, which has been in the center of a controversy over the last year.