As hotel programs evolve and become more complex, it becomes more important to have the right data to improve your hotel program.
So, where to begin? In a recent survey with GBTA, travel buyers told us their top goals for their hotel program in 2019. They are to reduce program costs, increase policy compliance and improve traveler satisfaction. Here are three metrics to help you achieve these goals.
- Traveler Satisfaction
According to a study conducted by Sabre, the number one determinant of traveler satisfaction is comfortable and convenient lodging. One way you can ensure you’re delivering properties that meet travelers’ needs is to analyze hotel reviews. If you discover there are properties that are not meeting expectations, you have the ability to challenge your hotel partner or block them from your program. You can also use reviews to understand travelers’ preferences and to determine which properties you want to partner with in the future.
Travel buyers told us their top challenge is increasing compliance. Lack of compliance leads to other challenges as well, including collecting and reconciling traveler data from multiple sources, like credit card and expense data.
One efficient way to gauge non-compliance is to track the percentage of air or rail bookings that are accompanied by a hotel booking. If this number is low, investigate why and develop communication strategies to address non-compliance.
That leads us to the reporting that travel buyers told us they want most: why travelers book non-compliant rates. Most booking tools allow reason codes to be applied to bookings of non-preferred properties and non-compliant rates. This information can help you evolve your travel program or policy accordingly.
For example, business travelers told GBTA it is challenging to book hotels within their allowance or near their destination through their corporate tools. If travelers are having difficulty booking your preferred hotels, CWT Solutions Group can help you monitor the availability of your negotiated rates throughout the year to ensure it meets your contract obligations.
While negotiated rates can drive savings, they don’t come easily. As noted earlier, travel buyers often struggle to collect and reconcile data, which can make it difficult and time-consuming to negotiate the best rates. In fact, CWT Solutions Group found travel buyers spend an average of 400 hours securing rates each year.
To build a more efficient and cost-effective program, many buyers negotiate rates in top cities and rely on other rate sources, like RoomIt Rates, to drive savings for the bulk of their destinations. To optimize your rate mix and savings, you should:
Use the top destination report, which highlights where your travelers have stayed the most, to begin building your hotel program plans. If you do not have enough volume (typically 150+ room nights per year) at a particular property, you may be able to drive more savings through other rate sources.
Next, analyze your rate mix. Our rate mix report compares rates in key destinations, including RoomIt Rates, third-party hotel content (i.e. Booking.com or Expedia Partner Solutions), CWT Programme Rates, public rates, and your negotiated rates.
This report demonstrates how diversifying your rate portfolio can help you save. In cities where you do not have negotiated rates, you can identify which rate types drive more savings than public rates. You can also find savings opportunities in destinations where you have corporate negotiated rates. According to CWT data, corporate negotiated rates are not the lowest available, 25% of the time.
Clear data drives clear results
The information found in hotel reviews, hotel attach rate, top destination reports, and rate mix will paint a very clear picture about the status of your hotel program. From here you’ll be in a great position to build effective and reliable hotel strategies.