Survey looks at hotel sourcing

Survey identifies ways to get around the obstacles in the process

May 4, 2016
by Travel Management Canada Staff

Over 300 business travel managers defined the challenges of global hotel sourcing—and its impact on performance, compliance, and traveller satisfaction—through a joint survey by The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) and HRS.

Released at ACTE’s global travel conference in Dallas in April, the survey detailed the barriers to achieving target rates, manpower assessments generated by negotiations, and a surprising response by the hospitality industry. It also identified ways to get around the obstacles.

“This survey clearly indicates that the second largest line item in most companies travel spend is occupying more than its fair share of the travel manager’s talent and attention,” said ACTE executive director Greeley Koch  “The purpose of this survey was two-fold: to define the extent of the problems and to explore solutions.”

According to the survey:

  • Travel managers spend the majority of their time negotiating with suppliers, which results in time constraints and a lesser focus on the traveller;
  • Twenty-five percent of respondent travel managers conduct rate negotiations internally through manual processes; and
  • Thirty-five percent of respondents reported that hotels are slow to respond to RFPs or do not respond at all.

“Travel managers agree that traveller centricity is key to reaching their savings goals,” said Tobias Ragge, HRS CEO. “Savvy travel managers who consider outsourcing optimize processes, reduce cost and win back precious time to focus on their travellers and duty of care.”

According to the survey, the next area for growth in the business travel industry will be monitoring traveller satisfaction with key processes such as booking and expense reporting. So far, only a minority of travel managers have a feedback mechanism for them in place (20 percent and 11 percent respectively).

Duty of care was also cited in the survey as a growing concern for traveller security in apartments or rooms that had not been vetted by corporate security. Nine percent of respondents have changed their policy with respect to shared accommodations (more restrictions) in the past two years, with a further nine percent planning to do so in the coming months.

Aside from establishing a rapport with travellers as a new approach to stronger compliance and increased savings, two other findings were included in the survey:

  • Buyers who outsource hotel negotiations are more than twice as likely to have no issues with ‘slow or no’ RFP responses than corporations who keep sourcing in-house (18 percent versus 8 percent); and
  • Corporations that outsource hotel negotiations are three times less likely to see increased hotel prices becoming an issue  (three percent versus 10 percent)

The ACTE- HRS Global Sourcing Survey represents one of the most detailed look at a complex issue. It can be found by clicking here.