City Lodge is beginning to feel the pressure of the weak economy as business travellers trim spending. But, as customers trade down from five-star hotels, it is in a stronger position than some of its peers. City Lodge CEO Clifford Ross said it had seen a certain amount of buying down and the corporate market was squeezing the group hard to get a good rate. If a company was paying the account, he said, people would travel, but weekends were a different picture - with the pressure on consumers resulting in a considerable drop in business then. City Lodge, which targets the business-travel market, has seen a drop as companies tighten their belts to trim spending. De Wet Schutte, analyst at Avior Capital Markets, said investor sentiment had become quite negative towards the travel and leisure sector. City Lodge was not an isolated case. "The reality is that with a slowing economy - as we are in a technical recession - there will be downward pressure on the key metrics that drive the bu...

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