With rising costs pretty much everywhere at the moment from energy prices, oil prices etc. and a surge in hotel bookings leading to an increase in rates, it is more important than ever to take control of your hotel expenses. Let’s say your firm has had many client meetings, jobs out of the area requiring men on site 5 days a week, trade shows, and networking events recently. The ROI looks good, and your leads and customers appreciate the face-to-face interaction. While your financial metrics are soaring, something else is increasing too: your corporate travel expenses. We take a look how you can keep things under control.
Business travel hotel pricing models are complex and constantly changing, challenging corporate travel departments and others to find ways to manage spend and control costs for hotel budgets. In fact, hotels spend represents about 40 percent of corporate travel budgets for business travel.
Working with Hotelrooms4u, we implement as many of the below strategies in order to control costs, increase ROI and ultimately make sure you are maximising on the savings possible.
- Consolidate data. Accurate, comprehensive data that provides a breakdown of room rates as well as additional expenses is needed to assess the total cost of stay. Companies can get the most complete data from our bespoke reporting and corporate credit card provider.
- Understand traveller needs and behaviour. Contrary to popular belief, travellers rate a hotel’s proximity to their place of business higher than hotel category, which is not necessarily a driver of satisfaction. There is no point saving £10 on the room rate if the time and expense of getting on site in the morning outweighs the saving on the room.
- Design an effective hotel policy. A clear, comprehensive hotel policy drives compliance. To that end, the use of preferred hotels and preferred booking channels (i.e., booking through ourselves) must be mandated. To support this, the research shows that booking through us results in the use of more preferred hotels, as well as rates that are 18-21 percent lower compared to other booking channels such as hotel call centres and Websites or a call to the hotel directly. Factor in the time you could spend searching for the hotel and the rebates we offer and it really is a no brainer.
- Optimize the preferred hotel program. We negotiate on your behalf a preferred hotel agreement whenever spend reaches a certain level at a particular property. We recently negotiated a preferred rate for a client based on only 128 nights which resulted in a £20 saving per night and also allowed greater flexibility on cancellation policy. Savings may also result from introducing lower-category hotels that meet travellers’ needs into the program, since the average price difference from one category to the next is 21-25 percent. Not all 4* properties are superior to 3*, our staff know which hotels are suitable and would never book a client into a property they wouldn’t be happy to stay in themselves.
- Consider a fixed discount on fluctuating hotel rates. Although most companies prefer the predictability of negotiated fixed rates, dynamic pricing agreements, whereby companies receive a negotiated fixed discount on fluctuating hotel rates, can outperform negotiated flat rates. We can help advise which we think will perform the best although we are still able to use other avenues to book outside of the negotiated rate in order to maximise your savings. Booking your own hotels, with the greatest will in the world, you neither have the time, the tools or even the inclination to do this.
We highly recommend trying to introduce as many of the above points into your policy when booking hotels although we appreciate it is not easy when your traveller just needs to secure a room asap for that important job. Working with us, we automatically implement all of the above, giving you greater control and driving down your costs. Each and every client will testify to the savings and service we provide. We don’t charge for our service and even offer you a monthly rebate. If you book hotels regardless of the number of nights, it is essential you get in touch today and we will walk you though what is required to make essential savings. Just complete the form today and we will be in touch.