Finding the right strategy for managing hotel programs during uncertainty starts with working through challenging questions, like “What does COVID-19 really mean for managed hotel programs?” and “What can be done to manage hotel spend during this time of uncertainty?” In a five-part blog series on Hotel Category management, Senior Director of Sourcing and Spend Management for Stay by BCD Travel and Advito Global Hotel Practice Leader Laura Kusto urges travel managers to start now building strategies to take them from today into a post-COVID-19 travel era.
As part of her research, Kusto and team spoke to hotel chain transient sales teams, clients, and colleagues to hear their point of view on topics like:
- Managing hotel RFPs
- Rate negotiations and targets
- Traveler well-being
- Duty of care
Kusto synthesized the conversations and her own insights into the series, Five steps for managing hotel programs in today’s changing landscape. Each post provides in-depth advice travel managers can use in building their back to travel strategies.
Step 1: Update your OBT and add rate targets
Step 2: Devise your health, safety and duty of care strategy
Step 3: Determine your hotel program strategy
Step 4: When the time is right, release your hotel RFP
Step 5: Save beyond sourcing
By reading the series and following the steps outlined, Kusto says travel managers can enter 2021 with a very different hotel programs than the ones they managed in 2020. Programs that are smaller, more diverse and still poised to support traveler satisfaction and drive savings.