Study shows differences in hotel programs by region and travel spend
Alexandria, VA—A new report issued by the GBTA Foundation—the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)—evaluates differences in global hotel programs in North America and Europe as well as any differences based on a company’s travel spend. The report, Global Hotel Program Study 2014, sponsored by Best Western International, surveyed travel managers to evaluate what their global hotel programs look like, how they are organized and managed and what the most important factors are when selecting hotel chains for their program.
“The research shows the importance of understanding the difference in management and structure of global hotel programs,” said Joseph Bates, GBTA Foundation vice-president of research. “High-spend companies, and to some extent European based companies, don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach to their global programs, instead seeing value in a team-oriented program where recommendations are sought from local and regional travel managers.”
In performing global business, suppliers can become myopic in their thinking, said Sandra Taylor, director worldwide sales corporate, government and travel agency programs for Best Western International.
“In order to meet the needs of the client and their travelers, suppliers need to use a different lens and look at the business from the customer’s perspective,” she said. “Embracing the differences and building relationships are the keys to success around the globe.”
Regional differences, size matters
The study found several differences exist between North American-based global hotel programs and European based programs, and also observed differences between travel-spend levels:
Selecting Preferred Hotels
The people most commonly “involved” or “very involved” in preferred hotel negotiations are global travel managers (73 percent), regional travel managers (58 percent) and local travel managers (51 percent). When travel managers negotiate rates for their global hotel program, a majority (58 percent) say a global travel manager or global team negotiates directly with hotels. The number one factor taken into account when selecting a preferred hotel mentioned by almost all of the respondents who have chain-wide agreements is rates, followed by overall quality of hotel and added value offerings.
GBTA surveyed 272 travel managers in North America and Europe from December-January. The full report is available exclusively to GBTA members by clicking here and non-members may purchase the report through the GBTA Foundation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The study results will be presented during an education session at GBTA Convention 2014 in Los Angeles on Wednesday, July 30 at 7:30 a.m. The session, Current Trends and Best Practices in Managing Global Hotel Programs, will cover how Global Hotel Programs work in North America and Europe and will discuss the structure of these types of programs within global organizations, how these are managed and what processes are in place.