Making investments in your corporate travel program can be a challenging line item to tackle in your 2021 budget proposal. Business travel is still recovering from its earlier pandemic lows, and future travel plans for many organizations remain in flux.
Fortunately, one of the smartest travel technologies businesses can integrate into their travel programs doesn’t necessarily carry an out-of-pocket price tag: Rate Assurance. From small traveling teams to large corporate programs, companies of all sizes can take advantage of rate assurance to minimize expenses and drive ROI. Direct Travel recently rolled out our own rate assurance solution powered by TRIPBAM, and we’re ready to walk you through how it works and why it matters to your business
Tracking Demand Change
Since the COVID-19 pandemic first critically upended the ecosystem of hotels and the travel industry, hotel rates have declined at a rate of 30 percent year-over-year according to STR. These numbers continue to fluctuate depending on a variety of factors including regional/state occupancy restrictions, responsiveness of properties to safety measures such as touchless technology for guests, and overall market demand. While this is alarming news for the industry as a whole, it does provide the silver lining of added savings.
In order to capture those savings, your travel program needs to have the proper technology in place. Hotels are pricing to meet demand, and the unpredictably volatile nature of the pandemic means that demand is changing daily. For instance, while a traveler may lock in a below market rate for a hotel room two months before travel, that rate may change significantly between when the room is booked and when the traveler begins their trip. To take advantage of those fluctuations, you need a rate assurance tool that provides visibility into the potential savings and can adjust the booking accordingly.
Direct Hotel Rate Assurance automatically rebooks your booking once savings are detected. Best of all, there are no changes to how travelers book their lodging. Once a reservation is made through a Direct Travel agent or Online Booking Tool (OBT), Direct Hotel Rate Assurance will:
- Monitor the hotel rate for market fluctuations
- Check for a Direct Global Hotel Program rate which often includes better cancellation terms or value-added amenities
- Automatically rebook your traveler at a lower rate if one comes available for the same room, amenities, and terms
- Send an updated confirmation number and hotel rate to your traveler 7 days prior to travel with minimal disruption to amenities and services they expect
A portion of the added savings secured through rate assurance can be directed towards the expense of the tool, meaning it both pays for itself and delivers dividends for your business. Take for example a company that has approximately 100 bookings per month. Based on recent data and market trends, one in five bookings may be rebooked with an average savings of $60. That represents a gross savings of $14,400 per year before any rate assurance expenses.
Remove the Rate Guesswork
With leaner teams and less resources available to most corporate travel programs, it’s important that your business maximizes both time and money. Rather than relying solely on team members to monitor supply changes and source the best rates, you can take confidence in knowing you’re getting the guaranteed lowest rate.
As an added benefit, Direct Hotel Rates Assurance can also increase policy compliance, keeping travelers safe and enhancing your Duty of Care capabilities. Ultimately, rate assurance serves as a key element in the toolbox of any modern hotel program and provides minimal disruption to your travelers and your budget.
If you’re ready to get started saving, contact us to learn more about adding Direct Hotel Rate Assurance to your corporate travel services package.