A lot of effort goes into negotiating the best rates for your corporate hotel program. Ensure all that hard work gets the savings you expect with checks on preferred hoteliers’ rates. A recent article in industry news publication Skift outlines four pricing problems that rate audits routinely expose:
- Preferred rates aren’t properly loaded into the distribution system.
- Hotel properties limit the number of rooms eligible for discounts, meaning companies aren’t getting the deals they should be getting at all times.
- Hotel booking costs vary from source to source. A single hotel room may be listed under different prices, depending on where the traveler looks.
- Hotel rates fluctuate frequently. New technologies have led hotels to refine their yield-management strategies and pricing systems, causing room rates to go up and down with regularity.
Marwan Batrouni, vice president of Global Hotel Strategy at BCD Travel, said rate audits can position travel buyers as company savers. Analysis by the travel management company indicates up to 30% of corporate rates aren’t loaded during the first round of audits—those typically executed soon after program implementation.
“Most travel managers audit rate loading, but not many audit rate availability,” Batrouni told Skift. “Ultimately, if they don’t audit [availability], they won’t have visibility into how their preferred suppliers are performing. Are hoteliers holding their end of the bargain? If preferred hotels are not available 30%, 40% or 50% of the time or more, there’s a red flag.”