From hip hotels to hip hop stars, every loves a deal
A creative mindset and a strategic approach to your hotel program, are the keys to unlocking hotel room savings while delivering traveller satisfaction. So before you go in to bat, get the lowdown on how to approach your hotel program negotiations with these insights from Stage and Screen.
Know what your travellers want
The personalities that make up the creative, entertainment and sports industries vary greatly - and so do the things they want from a hotel. So it’s important to understand what your traveller’s ‘must haves’ are, before you select your hotel line up. Touring performers may crave the personal service of a discreet and quiet boutique hotel, while sport teams might want all the facilities of a large hotel chain – complete with a well-equipped gym and a kitchen that can cater to special diets.
Know how hotels think
To ensure that you’re receiving the best possible hotel rates, it’s important understand a bit about how the accommodation market works. An experienced travel management company can help you understand average daily rates, occupancy levels, hotel revenue streams and how you can work with them to get the best result for your organisation. Knowing how hotel revenue teams think is useful in determining when to negotiate for a more competitive rate, bonus inclusions and value adds for your organisation.
Know what the hotels want to know
Before you start any strategic negotiations with a hotel, make sure you have gathered all the data required to help you get the best deal. For this you’ll need good visibility and current figures from across your hotel program, including what locations your travellers most visit and your current spend – and not just on room rates, also include extras such as parking, WiFi and meals. It’s important to also know how may room nights a year you require, your travel patterns, the average length of stay and any extras you want included.
Get to know your hotel team
By streamlining your spend with a few select hotels or chains, you’ll have a better opportunity to get to know the properties and their representatives. Building a strong relationship with them, and consolidating more of your travel spend with their property, will help you to earn their loyalty, negotiate better room discounts, secure more flexible rate conditions (e.g. wavering cancellation fees) and benefit from complimentary perks such as free WiFi and upgrades.
Alternatively, draw on the solid partnerships your travel management company has developed with hotel suppliers. The large volume of business they put through particular hotels, will enable them to negotiate the best possible rate for your business.
Lock it in
Once you have negotiated and accepted the best proposal, communicate your hotel policy clearly to both your travellers and booking team. Then ensure your negotiated rates and hotel codes are loaded into the Global Distribution System which will feed directly into your Online Booking Tool.
With an in depth understanding of the niche sports and entertainment market, Stage and Screen can facilitate successful negotiations between a diverse range of hotel suppliers and clients.