It’s still warm outside and the leaves haven’t started turning, but the kids are headed back to school, Starbucks pumpkin spice latte is back — and it’s time to negotiate your 2023 corporate hotel rates.
Of course, the hotel environment is tough. Three- and four-star hotel rates are up 20-25% each month vs. 2021, which is 14% above 2019 levels. Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott report healthy demand with big price increases, and Marriott’s sales team is already predicting nearly double-digit hikes on corporate rates.
In this environment, hotel RFPs can be an enormous and time-consuming pain. Or you can make hotel RFP season easier and more lucrative for you and your company by following these three steps:
First, ask AmTrav for help. AmTrav has seasoned hotel negotiators Charley and Vittoria on staff, equipped with software to send carefully-targeted RFPs to many hotels in your key areas, then share the full RFP responses and details with you. (Seriously: don’t spend hours tracking down hotel emails, sending out and retrieving each RFP – have Charley and Vittoria do it for you!) And of course your Relationship Manager will be working alongside you, Charley and Vittoria to help you negotiate and win the best rates and amenities for your program.
Best of all: the price for this support? Free, included in AmTrav’s one connected platform.
Second, now that you’ve got expert support, embrace the competition and consolidate your hotel spend. Those hotel sales managers are busy and they’re tough, they’re not going to give you the set rates, last room availability and money-saving amenities you need – not unless they think you’ll take your 50+ or 100+ room nights to another hotel. So embrace the competition, select several (at least four) hotel properties for AmTrav to send your RFP to around your offices and facilities. Then when it comes time to choose your final round and make a selection (AmTrav will be with you at every stage), consolidate your spend with a property that really values your business.
(Speaking of amenities, don’t neglect them! We recently negotiated a deal at a Hilton outside Chicago guaranteeing not only low fixed rates but free parking, breakfast and wifi worth $50 per night! Take those amenities when they’re offered and encourage your travelers to take advantage.)
Third, opt-in to chainwide agreements – when it makes sense. Chainwides sound great: discounts everywhere, lots of hotel choices and loyalty rewards for your travelers – what’s not to love? Problem is, those discounts are off market rates, so travelers will pay a lot when prices are high during the workweek instead of getting a fixed, predictable rate. (Indeed, an industry analysis found that agreements with individual properties saved $10 per night more than chainwide deals on the same hotels.)
Again, your first priority is consolidating your spend and achieving savings with properties in key locations. Once that’s done, take advantage of AmTrav’s discounted rates with Choice, Wyndham and Best Western with attainable minimum spend (starting at $25,000 annually – not millions like Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton). These chainwides back good backstops for your program, saving money on the locations where you can’t consolidate spend.
To review: make this hotel RFP season a lot easier for yourself by calling on AmTrav for help, consolidating your spend and opting-in to chainwides when it makes sense. So grab a pumpkin spice latte (or an icy cold brew – it’s still 85 degrees out where I am!) and drop a line to your AmTrav Relationship Manager – they’re ready to help!