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Hotel Programs: where is the value?

Too many people consider hotel accommodation a ‘sunk cost’ of business travel – but it shouldn’t be that way.

Accommodation is a key part of our clients’ travel spend and we have the technology and expertise to help them accurately identify savings opportunities. At CTM, we invest heavily in delivering tools and services which maximise savings, including rate forecasting technology, access to pre-paid last minute inventory and tactical supplier negotiations.

Knowledge is power.

Through our up-to-the-minute monitoring of hotel accommodation prices locally and internationally, we know Sydney continues to hold the crown as Australia’s most expensive city for hotel accommodation. But what surprised many travellers last year was the fact that Darwin was the city most likely to surpass Sydney as Australia’s most expensive for hotel accommodation (due to fly-in-fly-out workers and tourists experiencing the Top End’s dry season). However this year our hotel analysis suggests that Darwin and Perth room rates may buck the national trend and actually decrease, due to the reduction in resource activity and therefore higher room availability. Brisbane hotel rates also looks set to plateau as more hotel inventory enters the market, unmatched by demand.

“Darwin and Perth room rates may buck the national trend and actually decrease, Brisbane looks set to plateau”

Our insights are your advantage.

So how do we use our insights to our clients’ advantage? There are a number of opportunities.

Firstly, our continuous tracking of accommodation prices, as shown in CTM’s Bed Forecaster technology, gives our customers the edge by providing insights into pricing trends when planning their travel.

Secondly, CTM has been first to market with the integration of last minute hotel inventory into our online booking tools (OBTs), adding up to 150,000 global properties and over 200,000 special offers to their single source of booking. By integrating reduced, pre-paid hotel rooms alongside GDS hotel rates, our clients are achieving substantial savings and benefiting from enhanced supplier negotiations through greater trackable spend. This, combined with our partnerships with local accommodation providers, means our customers do not have to compromise on quality to achieve tangible savings.

“CTM has been first to market with the integration of last minute hotel inventory into our online booking tools”

Craig Smith, Head of Stakeholder Relations, explained: “Our point of difference at CTM is the connection to local providers, delivering the scale to negotiate and secure significant savings that are not available through independent bookings.” CTM’s proprietary forecasting technology is particularly important for clients planning their travel where it coincides with major tourism and travel events at their destination. For example, a large meetings, conferences and events schedule earlier this year saw Melbourne’s prices increase rapidly, challenging the mantle of Perth, which is traditionally tightly-priced. Our forecasting tools allow our clients to adjust their planned travel to avoid the pricing peaks and coincide with troughs in the market.

“CTM’s Bed Forecaster technology allows clients to adjust their planned travel to avoid the pricing peaks and coincide with troughs in the market”

 

Craig outlined additional opportunities for CTM’s clients to maximise their savings. “We have our CTM Preferred Hotel Program where we negotiate special rates, benefits and inclusions with our preferred hotel chains, in addition to negotiated deals clients may already have in place.

“Again, the key to maximising client savings is understanding the full picture of their account; how many room nights they are booking, when and where those nights are being used and what incidental expenditure is being outlaid. “We use this information on behalf of our clients to negotiate for the best deal, which delivers savings and meets the needs of their business.”

CTM’s top tips to better hotel negotiations

When working with clients to review and rationalise their hotel spend, CTM’s dedicated Client Value Managers will consider a number of steps, including:

  1. Reviewing and forecasting achievable room night volumes per destination
  2. Working with the client to consider consolidating room nights across fewer hotels, to maximise buying power
  3. Reviewing benefits for frequent travellers
  4. Negotiating discounted or free-of-charge value-adds for accommodation incidentals like meals
  5. Using CTM’s Preferred Hotel Program for destinations where clients may have reduced volume or no preferred suppliers, and
  6. Negotiating longer fixed-term agreements to further drive savings.

CTM’s Client Value Managers have extensive experience in negotiating the best arrangements for their clients, including understanding the ideal time of year to launch Requests for Proposals for accommodation suppliers to capitalise on market over-supply.

“Understand the ideal time of year to launch Requests for Proposals for accommodation suppliers to capitalise on market over-supply”

How does your organisation’s accommodation costs compare?

Make sure your hotel spend is delivering value for your business by talking to your account manager today.

 

LIKE TO TALK TO US ABOUT YOUR HOTEL PROGRAM?

Contact us today on 1800 663 622 or email us