By Suzanne Neufang
Those of us who have worked in the arena of corporate hotel programs for any length of time in recent history have all participated in debates about the accuracy of hotel rates. Far too often, those conversations revolve around erroneous rates and the scenarios pertaining to why the rates negotiated during RFP season don’t always – or even often! – appear when employees shop for hotels.
For a topic that gets discussed often at industry events, there has not yet been a formal measuring of how systemic this issue is among travel managers and other leaders that oversee corporate hotel programs. HRS and GBTA are rectifying that, teaming up to orchestrate an extensive global survey that – for the first time – asks travel buyers detailed questions about their approach to hotel rate auditing and how often they find inconsistencies when they put their hotel pricing under a microscope.
HRS published some initial findings of this survey today. Not surprisingly, we’re seeing that corporate hotel programs too often do not get the rates they negotiated. Among travel managers performing audits:
- 33 percent find discrepancies more than 20 percent of the time;
- 30 percent find discrepancies between 6-19 percent of the time; and
- 37 percent find discrepancies 5 percent or less of the time.
The press release goes into more detail on both the GBTA survey and an HRS analysis of 32 multi-national programs’ corporate rates, done in the second quarter of 2016. One quarter of more than 23,000 rates analyzed in the review were incorrect or failed to correctly incorporate amenity details. And 11 percent of the rates analyzed were higher than originally negotiated between the company and the specific hotel.
To combat this issue, HRS now offers Rate Protector, a new service which automatically audits rates and associated attached amenities, helping travel programs avoid costs and hotels to stay true to negotiated agreements. Should the rate check reveal a mismatch between loaded rates and negotiated parameters, a correction process is triggered and the hotel is notified to check on the rate. Erroneous rates are not displayed to the traveler or agent.
Sourced hotels are still a critically important part of a managed travel program – saving on average 9% globally for corporations worldwide. Rate Protector now just makes the process and expectation of earned savings even more transparent.
Rate Protector is an exclusive offering for HRS hotel sourcing clients for use within the HRS rates system of record. We encourage you to speak to your HRS account manager or sales representative to find out more. HRS will showcase Rate Protector at next week’s LACTE conference in São Paulo, as well as ACTE’s global conference in New York City this April 23-25.