Tag Archives: Negotiated hotel rates

Travel management becomes easier with big data! Clarcity Travel & Expense uses big data to streamline your travel management process!

Travel management is better with big data

What’s the deal with big data? Data helps companies negotiate better deals. It shows whether funds are spent wisely. It helps companies reduce costs while still meeting their goals.  Data is at the center of every good travel management program.

Let’s take an example. I’d like to negotiate a reduced hotel rate at a hotel in Phoenix. First, I need to build a list of properties to contact. To do this, I need to know the destinations that my travelers visit in Phoenix. This is easy if all of my travelers are going to my company’s Phoenix office. What if I work for a consulting company with many clients in Phoenix? What do I do if my company has several Phoenix locations? It’s even harder if my travelers are sales people who call on lots of different prospects. The best solution is to record the destination address of each Phoenix trip.

Next, I need to know how many nights my travelers spent at hotels for each destination. This will tell whether my travelers are spending enough to negotiate a rate. Once I have this information, I can create my target markets. For example, I might conclude that I need to negotiate a rate at a hotel in downtown Phoenix, a hotel in Scottsdale, and a hotel at the Phoenix airport.

Finally, I need to know which hotels are good fits for my company’s travel policy. Star ratings and average rates from the most recent year are some help. However, the best data is the actual rates that these hotels were offering when my travelers searched for hotels in Phoenix.  Once I have this information, I’m ready to put together my short list of hotels and send out my RFP.

How does travel management become easier with a travel and expense system?

I can see how powerful this data will be. I’m still not sure how I can capture it all in one place. A cloud travel and expense system can help:

1. A travel management  system will show how many nights my travelers spent in hotels in the most recent year for each location.  It will also show prices offered by each hotel.
2. A expense system with mobile mileage tracking can quickly capture the street address of each traveler’s destination.
3. A strong travel policy will make sure that travelers use both systems.

Talk to Clarcity to learn more.

Corporate travel becomes a lot cheaper with wholesale hotel rates!

Corporate travel is cheaper with wholesale hotel rates

Corporate travel involves a lot of hotel stays! At some point, all hotels have more rooms than they can sell through their own web site or call center. Hotels often turn to wholesalers to sell these rooms.  Hotel wholesalers are independent companies who buy rooms in bulk and re-sell them to budget conscious travelers. The largest wholesalers sell rooms directly to travelers on their web sites. Expedia and Priceline are well known examples. Hotels require these wholesalers to abide by strict contracts. In particular, they are not allowed to offer a room on their web site at a lower price than the hotel is offering on its web site.

Some wholesalers sell rooms through tour operators and travel agencies. Agencies are allowed to offer these rooms at much lower prices than the hotel is offering on its web site. In fact, a travel agent can often offer a room for 40% less than the hotel. Agencies cannot publish these rates on a web site that is available to the general public. Instead, travelers must call agents over the phone. Agents then make the reservations using private web sites protected by passwords.

How to use wholesale hotel rates for corporate travel?

Agencies know that they are allowed to offer wholesale rates to corporate travel customers. Travel managers find the savings very appealing. Travelers stay at the same quality hotel.  However, corporations rely on online booking tools to make most of their reservations. These tools:

1. Enforce their travel policy.
2. Access their negotiated rates.
3. Show travel managers how funds are being spent.

The booking tools supported by travel agencies rely on systems which are decades old and do not have access to the wholesale rates. Companies looking for greater savings should find a travel solution which can:

1. Show wholesale, negotiated, and public rates in one search.
2. Show whether each rate complies with the organization’s travel policy.
3. Direct the traveler to choose the lowest rate which meets the business needs.

Finding this solution means looking at a modern alternative to a travel agency. Contact us to find out more!

Negotiated hotel rates helps you stretch your travel dollar!

Negotiated hotel rates make travel policies more effective!

Negotiated hotel rates are one of the most powerful ways to save money on corporate travel. These rates may save companies anywhere between 20% to 50% on their hotel expenses. In fact, corporate negotiated rates represent almost 30% of US lodging industry revenue.

It is a common misconception that only large corporations have the market power to negotiate a lower rate with hotels. On the contrary, companies that spend as little as $5000 in a particular market can be successful in negotiating a preferred rate for themselves.

How to get access to negotiated hotel rates?

The following steps will help you negotiate a lower rate.

  1. Identify the markets where your employees travel to frequently.
  2. Calculate the total number of room nights you expect to spend in each market. These figures may be monthly, quarterly or yearly.
  3. Locate the destinations (such as offices, conference centers, etc.) in each market where your employees are traveling to. Find hotels that are convenient for the business purpose.
  4. Send a “request for proposal” to the sales manager at each property. This is also known as an RFP, for short.
  5. Review every RFP and then select preferred hotels.
  6. Put a process in place to ensure that your employees make reservations at the said property. You will also need to ensure that they utilize the negotiated rate.

Does this sound like a lot of work? Of course it does! How will you gather all the data? Collating this information can be very hard for companies using antiquated systems and processes. However, organizations using the right software can access the data with a simple click.

How many room nights did my company use while traveling to destinations within three miles of downtown Chicago in 2015? Click.
What was the average room rate that we paid? Click.
What were the rates offered by other hotels of similar quality? Click.

How to ensure that your employees take advantage of negotiated hotel rates?

How do you make sure that your travelers actually book rooms at the hotels you have chosen? After all, travelers  have every incentive to stay at hotels that give them the most miles or reward points.

Luckily, an effective travel policy and the right software makes the process work. With the right tools, you will be empowered to do the following.

  • Write a travel policy which requires your employees to book hotels through your travel system. Use an integrated expense system to flag hotel reservations booked through other channels for review.
  • Configure your travel system to highlight negotiated hotel rates at the top of the search results.
  • Alert managers by email when a traveler chooses a rate that is more expensive than the negotiated rate. Configure your expense system to flag such reservations for further review.

We let you do all of the above and a lot more. Feel free to contact us right away to request a demo.