Travel Managers See Opportunity for Reduced Hotel Rates, Says Survey
By Harvey Chipkin
Most travel managers (62%) see opportunities to reduce hotel room rates and gain more flexible terms and conditions for the rest of 2020 and beyond, according to a survey from HRS, the hotel solutions provider. The survey, which ran from April 30 through May 4, also found that 51% anticipate issuing RFP’s to achieve the goal of lowering costs; and 81% are willing to commit to 15- to 18-month-long agreements in exchange for hotel supplier flexibility as business travelers get back on the road. In addition, 58% foresee reducing the number of suppliers they work with; and 86% will prioritize hotel partners with revised, Covid-19-specific hygiene protocols. Tobias Ragge, CEO, said that once safety protocols are in place, companies will authorize necessary trips to visit clients and pitch prospects. Domestic corporate demand, said Ragge, will play “a decisive, leading role” in the recovery. With corporations consolidating their programs and driving market share, he said, proactive hoteliers have the chance to create strategic partnerships and grow beyond transient travel into higher-yielding groups and meetings volume with preferred clients.