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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.

Our insights are your advantage

So how do we use our technology tools to our clients’ advantage? There are several opportunities available through our Lightning online booking tool. With our introduced Hotel Tagging feature; preferred, indigenous-owned, eco-friendly and other hotel types are easily identified, particularly important if these are part of booking policy requirements. If more control is required, only hotels who fit the in-policy requirements will be displayed and booked with the Hotel Policies Listing option, leading to minimised hotel leakage. Similarly, CTM Mobile’s Preferred Hotels feature provides support for calculating lost savings by comparing against non-preferred hotels. In Lightning, this is managed through a similar configuration.

Preferred Hotel Program

With a Preferred Hotel Program, our clients have access to special rates, benefits and inclusions that have been negotiated with our preferred accommodation partners. Clients can also access any previously negotiated deals they have with hotels through CTM. John Balloch, CTM’s Head of Supplier Relations, explains that “having a strong connection to local hotel providers gives CTM the ability to negotiate the best possible rate for our clients, securing significant savings that are not available through independent bookings.”

Using insights for benefits

Understanding the full picture of our client’s travel profile is the key to identifying savings opportunities for them.  This includes how many nights they are booking, when and where those bookings are taking place and any incidental expenditure from these bookings. “Once we understand our client’s full travel account, we can negotiate the best arrangements, to maximise savings and still meet the needs of their business,” John explains. Having the right level of expertise and experience in negotiating with hotels suppliers is paramount for achieving the best possible savings for clients. This includes understanding the ideal time of year to launch Requests for Proposals for accommodation suppliers to capitalise on market over-supply. CTM’s Client Value Managers have this experience and work with our clients to develop a hotel program that will maximise savings while delivering value to 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 consider several steps, including:

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

Providing your travellers with the rooms they want, while driving the savings your business needs

With our hotel offering, you can offer your travellers more choice, secure the savings your program needs, and ensure a duty of care for those who are on the road.

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.