Managing Your Company’s Negotiated Hotel Program
by Denise Bernier
As a full service travel management company, Travel Edge can help clients develop and maintain a hotel program that will drive down costs while keeping those road warriors happy.
Most hotel negotiations are handled at the property level. They require a contract for a minimum number of hotel night stays in return for a discounted rate, usually 10-15%. Since the vast majority of properties require a minimum requirement of 100 nights a year, it is advisable to go after negotiated rates at your highest-volume destinations (we can help with that!) This strategy will help you concentrate market share and strengthen negotiation clout. If you cannot support the minimum nightly requirement, it is best to use Worldview Travel negotiated rates (more later), as it is very time consuming for the client, Travel Edge and the hotel to contract, load and maintain rates. Not only that, if we keep promising without delivering, we lose our credibility in the industry!
Once a rate is agreed upon, it is important to monitor the hotel stays to ensure you are on track to meet the commitment. The hotel’s recourse, if the client fails to perform to its satisfaction, is to reevaluate the negotiated rates, based on actual room night usage, and possibly not renew the arrangement.
A few tips for making sure you don’t lose the rate you negotiated for:
- At the beginning of the year, communicate to your travelers which hotel properties are preferred with negotiated rates and ask them to book these properties.
- Require travelers to get the rate through the online booking tool or through a Travel Edge™ dedicated agent. We can help by reminding your travelers which hotels are preferred, either on the booking tool or via our agents.
- Consistently stay at the same hotel in a specific destination to assure booking volume and increase negotiating power at contract renewal.
When looking for property-specific rates, look at new hotels as new hotels generally offer good value. They are especially eager to lock in corporate business, precisely because they are an untried entity. Consequently, there is a strong likelihood they will offer below-market introductory rates.
For the multitude of destinations where your company has a relatively small number of room nights, you can utilize other rate programs available to you through Travel Edge. Through our global partner HRG and other hotel consortia, we have rates at most hotels worldwide. What Is a Hotel Consortia Rate? A Consortia rate is a rate negotiated between a hotel and a travel management group. All consortia rates must be a minimum of 10% below published corporate rates and at parity with all consortia. These rates allow Travel Edge to offer very competitive rates to our clients at hotels worldwide.