We are living in an age when we expect to access what we want when we want it, prompted by having a computer in our pocket that allows us to research and purchase with a couple of clicks.
Corporate and leisure travelers are now used to frictionless online experiences that serve up solutions in real time with minimum effort. They want choice– but also curation, so that they are offered the best choices filtered for their personalized preferences. Looking at booking criteria, nightly rates closely follow location on the priority list for a traveler’s decision-making.
It’s no surprise that hotel owners, online travel agents (OTAs) and travel management companies (TMCs) are focusing on the twin challenges of satisfying customers with a great deal, while at the same time optimizing their revenue opportunities.
One way that large hotel chains are driving revenue increases is by intentionally promoting membership in loyalty programs which protects the nightly room rate while also providing a greater value to travelers.
In this fast moving landscape, it is important that TMCs and leisure-focused agents stay relevant by streamlining workflows, maximizing efficiencies, and leveraging data to strengthen negotiation discussions.
Whilst these initiatives are widely marketed in the travel industry, TMCs need to remain confident that the room rates that are offered on hotel websites are also available in the Sabre GDS. The agent simply has to use the Rate Access Code or the Frequent Guest ID of the traveler when conducting a search, and greater service (and greater value) is delivered because other needed travel arrangements can be effortless completed without needing to leave the GDS. It is also important that TMCs offering equivalent rates are able to surface them confidently and quickly – a TMC must be able to ensure that all rates are visible across its GDS system for agents to access when talking to the potential customer.
The constant flow of real-time, accurate, and relevant information that reflects the best converting inventory and the greatest choice offerings arm the TMC with a wealth of actionable information.
With this robust data, TMCs can more effectively negotiate with hotel providers to obtain greater percentage discounts off of Best Available Rate (BAR) offerings, justify inclusion in ‘premium programmes’ and request greater value-adds for their clients. All of these advantages give the TMC agent greater flexibility in offering attractive content to corporate bookers.
Some major global TMCs are already beginning to move away from a fixed yearly room rate agreements to more dynamic models that incorporate real-time marketplace data to offer negotiated rates that are immediately relevant to specific market conditions.
Because innovative technology systems can now help TMCs surface and interpret relevant data in real-time, it is now possible to cache and compare rates year-over-year which is sure to unveil actionable insights that will identify your greatest revenue-generating opportunities. Streamlined, integrated workflow systems can then help TMCs bring their negotiated rates to sale in a fast, accurate and secure fashion.
Find out how Sabre is leveraging the integration of real-time data with the advancements of technology to help you to make the right offer at the right time. And see how fast and easy it now is to make negotiated hotel rates available and open for sale. Learn more by going to the Explore More page and read about Hotel Program Manager.
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Melissa Gay is Business Development Manager for Sabre Travel Network in EMEA. Based in London, she leads the team that drives revenue and customer solutions across Hotel, Car, Rail and Cruises in the EMEA region.