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Travel Managers: Enforce policy and contain costs with hotel programme participation

Paul de Villiers

Director, Africa, Amadeus IT Group

Amongst the 11 corporations observed in the study, air tickets accounted for 70% of total direct costs, with hotel stays making up the second largest travel spend for corporations. Developing agreements with hotel companies helped corporations achieve average hotel discounts of 16%, illustrating the importance of having a preferred hotel programme in place.

 

Our recently published white paper Corporate Travel Management in Western Europe: Challenges and Opportunities identified key areas where cost-saving strategies can have maximum impact and one such area is in travel and entertainment (T&E) where negotiating hotel contracts and managing accommodation selection is critical to this process.

It was also noted that in order to concentrate hotel bookings with preferred suppliers, participating hotels should be highlighted in the online booking tool (OBT), to ensure they achieve prominence on the hotel search display. To assist Travel Managers with cost containment strategies, the white paper puts forward a series of recommendations.

These include:

  • Improving internal processes (booking procedures, expense claim management, policy compliance)
  • Addressing travel procurement practices (use of low cost carriers, hotel programme participation, consolidating trips)
  • Introducing top-down enforcement of strict travel policy compliance and OBT training/adoption
  • Implementation of analytical tools to measure and monitor essential Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in travel policy management and spend

The message to hotel companies therefore is clear. Hotel programme participation helps corporations to focus their accommodation spend in properties which provide them with preferred rates. To assist with these negotiations, it is essential for corporate travel managers and hoteliers alike to have full visibility on booking figures and total accommodation spend, through shared data reporting.

Finally,hotels should not underestimate the power of user-generated content (reviews, recommendations) when business travellers are selecting a property from within their allocated accommodation pool. Responding to both positive and negative reviews is important in maintaining the hotel's reputation and profile.

We invite you to download the full white paperCorporate Travel Management in Western Europe: Challenges and Opportunities , and welcome any feedback you have on the report.


Tags

Europe, Corporate Travel, Research