by Suzanne Neufang
On Monday July 18 at GBTA Denver, a lively panel discussion took a deep dive on the topic of how successful multi-national corporate hotel programs manage their lodging scene. Two travel managers, a TMC executive, and a corporate sales leader from IHG Hotels participated.
As technology progresses and new generations of travelers bring new requirements for managed travel programs, it is somewhat refreshing to hear that on-the-ground relationships are especially vital for international hotel programs to achieve success in compliance and value. Good old-fashioned, face-to-face conversations and recurring visits are synonymous with success across oceans and borders, according to the panelists. Local relationships that relay word of quality hotel partners across communication channels can drive desired results for both buyer and supplier; the company’s travelers get competitive rates at quality properties, and hotels benefit from long-term steady traffic from preferred corporate guests.
During an interview with Business Travel News later in the day, HRS CEO Tobias Ragge touched on the same reality. In a global economy where 75% of hotels are independent, travel managers at multi-national companies need to have supplier relationships that they can count on to provide quality service at competitive rates. Independent properties, which are increasingly in demand by corporate buyers facing more big-chain consolidation, are seizing the opportunity by engaging on the local level and tailoring rate offerings to win more traffic from global companies.
HRS specializes in bridging the needs of multi-national managed travel programs with the wide array of business-grade independent hotels across 190 countries in its portfolio. Travel managers can learn more about HRS’ global hotel mix here.