Hotel Accommodations

Hotel Accommodations

Hotel Accommodations: Public Websites vs Corporate Booking Tools

Over the years, the number of public online booking websites has increased exponentially. It is now easier than ever to book travel arrangements are your own. However, if you’re part of an organization that has a specific travel program, having travellers who continuously book outside of the approved Travel Provider (or Travel Management Company) is actually impeding your organization in many ways.

According to a Skift article, a mere 29% of business travellers are booking their hotel accommodations with their air reservation. As well, a staggering 50% of all hotel reservations are being made outside of the organization’s hotel program.

 

The Importance of Hotel Attachment

Now, you might wonder why it’s so important that business travellers book their hotel accommodations along with their transit reservations. As long as they have a reservation, why does it matter, right?

This is where your organization’s hotel attachment rate comes in.  

Your hotel attachment rate is the number of hotel bookings made along with air, car, or rail reservations. And you might not realize it, but this data is actually incredibly vital to your organization.

 

  1. Duty of Care

The most important reason that your travellers must book hotel accommodations through your designated Travel Management Company (TMC) is safety. Bill C-45 stipulates that every Canadian organization has the legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees when travelling for business. And the same goes for any organization located in the United States, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.  

Imagine this, you receive an alert that a country has just had a massive earthquake. Your biggest client is located in this country, and your employees frequently travel there on business. You begin searching to find which employees are currently at that location and their travel information.  However, you quickly realize that you only have the flight details for most of your employees, and nothing else.

With only their flight information, you would have no visibility on their whereabouts once they left the airport. As a result, you would have an extremely difficult time locating and contacting your travellers. And a much harder time helping them return home safely.

 

  1. Cost Savings

When your employees book their hotel along with their transit reservations, you receive better visibility on your organization’s overall volume of hotel bookings and spend. This information then becomes a powerful leveraging tool and gives you buying power.

Armed with accurate data, you’re able to demonstrate your organization’s value to all hotel chains. You can then negotiate better corporate rates for your employees. More hotel bookings at a lower rate means your organization will benefit from a much higher increase in savings.

 

  1. Productivity

Your employees should spend their days focused on what matters most: business.

When your employees spend time searching public booking websites, they’re not focusing on their work which is what drives your business. As well, when you consider that your organization has already taken the time to negotiate a corporate rate for your employees, that effort then becomes counter-productive.

 

Why your Attachment Rate Might be Low

So if hotel attachment is so important, why do so many travellers book their accommodations outside of the organization’s TMC?

Chances are they don’t like the hotel options,” says Encore Travel’s Vendor Relations Specialist, Cinzia. “Travellers might not like the location of the hotel, for example in terms of its proximity to the airport. Or, they could also find it lacks certain amenities that they prefer when travelling.

Cinzia also points out that it might come down to membership or loyalty points. “We’ve found that travellers tend to book their accommodations with hotels whose membership programs they belong to. Therefore, if your travel program does not include that specific hotel chain, you’re more likely to have out of policy bookings.”

Lastly, it could come down to a communication failure.

Organizations need to take the time to communicate the hotels which are in their travel program, along with benefits and amenities that have been negotiated for the travellers,” says the Vendor Relations Specialist.

 

Improving your Hotel Attachment

Essentially, your hotel attachment rate is a power tool that benefits both your organization and its employees.

As such, you should teach your employees why it is important to book their hotel with their air or car reservation. Encourage them to use their TMC’s Online Booking Tool (OBT).

As well, work with your TMC. Ask that your preferred hotels and negotiated rates are clearly marked on your OBT with some sort of icon. This way your employees will have an easier time navigating their booking tool and will have a clearer understanding of the hotel accommodations they should be reserving.   

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