The people have spoken. Your number one topic in our survey was: how to save money on hotel costs.
So we caught up with Laura Farrell, one of our expert Hotel Consultants in our Consulting Services department. Laura just came back from speaking with clients and prospects at the World Travel, Inc. 2016 Fall Symposium and Travel Trade Show, and she was bursting with advice for travel managers looking to cut costs on the Hotel front.
"I worked for 17 years at properties before joining World Travel three years ago, so I know the inside scoop. That's a plus for travel managers who aren't as experienced when it comes to hotel negotiations, because I can help manage the process AND I know all the industry jargon and how to spot a bad deal."
Laura served up her top 5 strategies for saving on hotel costs.
If it's important, put it in the policy. Make sure your hotel policy is written down and followed, including your specific hotel partners by name. Also, make it policy to avoid advance purchase rates. They look nice three months in advance, but they don't allow cancellations or refunds. So when it comes to managing your travelers in bulk, it's best to avoid them.
Expand Your Search
Looking for a preferred hotel partner that best fits your cost-savings needs? "Expand the search beyond your usual hotel brands," Farrell says. "There are other options that can help achieve deeper discounts while still providing your travelers with safe, clean and comfortable accommodations." Loosen up the solicitation list and consider moving 5 - 8% of production to other hoteliers that provide excellent product and offer rewards programs for your travelers.
Have Friends in High Places
That's us: World Travel, Inc. We're a preferred agency partner for multiple hoteliers, and have access to member-direct pricing, which we can provide in your secondary and tertiary markets. We incorporate those prices right into your OBT, too, so you can get them with an agent or online.
Keep Up with the Joneses
One more benefit of using our Consulting Services department? We know if you're being taken advantage of. World Travel, Inc. benchmarks your hotel program against multiple schema to ensure your hotel pricing is competitive. Those benchmarks include:
- Other World Travel, Inc. clients with comparable production
- Radius Consortia Rates (World Travel, Inc. is a Radius Travel Member)
- Member Direct Pricing (As a preferred agency partner, World Travel, Inc. has access to member-direct pricing)
When you're with World Travel, Inc., we work to ensure you receive the value you're entitled to, as a valued client.
But Wait! There's More!
When negotiating, have all those value-added amenities included in all rates. "That's Wifi, shuttles in remote areas, parking, breakfast, and lately, even arrival 1 and snacks." Those ancillaries can add up, so by including amenities in the original agreements, you save money in the long run.
World Travel, Inc.'s consulting services department is in high RFP season right now, acting on behalf of many of our clients in negotiating hotel rates for wide travel footprints. "When I was at Symposium," Farrell said, "so many travel managers would say, 'But my current TMC doesn't help with this.' And I would say, 'But we do. Here's my card.'"
Which brings us to a bonus consideration:
Don't Spend Money on Consulting Services
At World Travel, Inc., all our clients can benefit from our Consulting Services department for ground, car, air, and hotel negotiations at no extra cost. This significant service is a major benefit, particularly for travel managers who don't have the experience, time, or technology to track and maintain hotel rates in nationwide and sometimes worldwide markets. Not paying for comprehensive strategies and services that save you money? That's a cost-saving consideration you can't beat.