Hotel Sourcing Sorcery­

The trick to getting the right room at the right rate may seem like magic – but there’s a science to it
NOTE: On June 27, Business Travel Executive hosted Hotel Sourcing Sorcery: Working a little magic to give your hotel program some extra leverage, the fourth in its “Going Deeper” webinar series. This follow-up article provides a more in-depth look at topics covered in that webinar, including insights from other industry leaders and observers. To hear the webinar in its entirety, visit – Ed.

The RFP process is dysfunctional if not broken, and while it seems that at least a version of it is here to stay, changes big and small are taking place. That is the consensus view of participants in the latest BTE “Going Deeper” webinar, and other industry leaders agree. The changes transforming corporate travel hotel programs range from a wholesale rethinking of the RFP process to modifications like dynamic pricing, year-round negotiations and multi-year contracts, fewer preferred suppliers and, importantly, a heightened focus on the traveler experience.

An example of a serious RFP overhaul was detailed during the webinar by Karen Hutchings, travel services, meetings and events leader of EY. Hutchings said that this fall EY will send a notice to hotel suppliers informing them of the company’s “city caps” – the maximum travelers can pay in that particular market. While there are other elements of EY’s hotel sourcing program, Hutchings said that single step will replace much of the long and arduous traditional RFP process.

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