More than half of all corporate meeting and group travel is booked online, and that's expected to grow to 60 percent by 2008.

That is among the findings of a new report by PhoCusWright Inc., Sherman, Conn., a research company specializing in travel, tourism, and hospitality research. For the first time, PhoCusWright has directed its research on the groups and meetings market, and the result is a 43-page study analyzing the online behavior of groups and meetings, segmented into three subgroups: leisure, corporate, and association.

PhoCusWright values the travel portion of corporate meetings (air, hotel, ground transportation, etc.) at $38 billion in 2005 and says that 53 percent ($19.8 billion) of that was booked online. By 2008, PhoCusWright predicts that 60 percent of corporate meetings will book online, representing $24 billion in sales.

The report looks in depth at the forces moving group buying online — and keeping it offline. Among the hurdles to more technologically sophisticated meeting buying are its lack of standards, the complex nature of the meeting purchase, and a lack of centralized inventory.

For more information on the report, visit www.phocuswright.com.