The hotel landscape is changing rapidly, and traditional program management strategies can’t keep up, BCD Travel hotel expert Marwan Batrouni advised in a recent article in industry news publication Skift. The article points to three trends upending how hoteliers sell rooms—and how corporate programs buy them.
In today’s hotel market, rates at a single hotel property can change daily—or even hourly. Meanwhile, around the world, markets are constantly in flux. New York, Paris and Houston all saw rates fall between 2016 and 2017, while Shanghai and Beijing saw rates jump, according to market analysis by business travel consultancy Advito. Suppliers have the advantage in some markets; buyers have the lead in others. And this balance of power changes rapidly. Buyers who pay attention to these hotel market fluctuations will have an advantage.
Major chain consolidations are having an effect on 2017 corporate hotel negotiations—especially the merger between Marriott and Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Hotel buyers can reduce the impact of current—and future—mergers by being ready. Go to the hotel negotiating table with an understanding of how mergers are likely to affect your corporate program.
Major hotel suppliers are using sophisticated yield management techniques to maximize revenue and control inventory. For example, Marriott recently changed its cancellation policy to 48 hours before scheduled arrival. “These new yield management techniques mean that, on average, booked rates are starting to trend higher than negotiated preferred rates,” Batrouni told Skift. The solution is year-round vigilance by hotel buyers.
Travel buyers can use year-round monitoring and adjustments to make their hotel programs less vulnerable to market fluctuations. This also will better position their programs for traveler engagement, virtual collaboration and other approaches that increase compliance, optimize spend, drive savings and improve traveler satisfaction.
Learn more about hotel trends, including how using virtual payments protects against fraudsters and why negotiating successfully for “soft” benefits boosts employee productivity and program performance.