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Categories: Special ReportTravel Buyer Think Tank

And Now for Something Completely Different

Looking for an alternative to the traditional hotel RFPs? Here’s one buyer’s step-by-step solution
Last July, I sat in a conference room in my company’s headquarters with my sourcing leads and teammate and said the dumbest sentence ever… “I want to do our hotel RFP differently.” I wanted to look at it in a new way; not using the usual tools or even the guiding principles.

During the last few years, we had issues with some of our preferred properties. Our amazing sourcing team would negotiate tough with our hotel partners resulting in fantastic rates – that had a tendency to be sold out by revenue teams. As this issue arose at all sorts of properties, I decided to do some research.

I started to pester not only my sales teams, but I also took advantage of every opportunity to talk to revenue managers and teams across properties and brands (names have been redacted to protect the innocent). I learned that while they may have agreed to the rate, revenue managers would close out corporate rates while keeping others open in the GDS. Then when employees would call our preferred properties, the hotels would honor our rate for the employee for them to book directly – causing distrust and frustration.

As for the available RFP tools, I’ve never been the biggest fan of them. They have poor user experience and interfaces and they double dip by charging both buyers and suppliers. All in all I’ve been dissatisfied with the current technology, so we came up with a new plan.

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