6 top corporate hotel booking tips for Travel Agents
Business travel has been completely turned on its head over the last couple of years and, as the industry continues its recovery, travel management companies need to be prepared for when corporate travel demand returns.
As the leading hotel technology platform in the corporate sector, HotelHub works with the world’s top TMCs to help them deliver the best possible service to their corporate customers.
Our experts have put together their key considerations for travel agents when making a corporate hotel booking.
1. Location, location, location
Regardless of the type of business trip, staying in a hotel that is conveniently located is likely to be high on a business traveller’s priority list.
Some of the benefits, such as reducing time and money spent on local travel, are well-known. But with the rise of bleisure, business travellers choosing to spend an extra few days exploring a travel destination are going to want great access to public transport and local amenities, too.
Having a booking tool with an interactive map view allows you to quickly identify hotel properties close to an office location or meeting venue. Plus, it gives you a good idea of what’s on your traveller’s doorstep, such as local restaurants, attractions and transport options, including bike stations.
HotelHub’s agent booking tool automatically displays hotels within a five kilometre radius of an office/meeting location. It also allows users to check out the local amenities by easily switching between the list and map views.
2. Getting the best hotel value through negotiated rates
TMCs and corporates will often have negotiated rates for hotels which, when booked, can provide better inclusions and amenities, as well as enhanced revenue opportunities and improved supplier leverage.
But with so many rates available from numerous content providers, making sure you’re picking the right rate can be a challenge.
By highlighting preferred agent and client negotiated rates upfront, your booking platform can help you cut through the clutter. Dynamic hotel listings can also prioritise preferred hotels to show at the top of your search results, eliminating time wasted on excessive scrolling.
Every preferred hotel displayed in HotelHub’s agent booking tool displays a preference badge, either TMC/agency preferred (AP), client preferred (CP), or both.
3. Reviews over ratings
Star ratings can be a good indication of a hotel’s standards. But a word of caution – these can vary significantly depending on the country your traveller is heading to. A hotel rated locally as a four-star may not meet the same standards your traveller will be expecting.
Guest reviews often provide a more accurate picture of the experience your traveller can expect. Plus, you can find valuable insights, tips and recommendations, especially if you haven’t stayed there before.
Your booking platform should provide an aggregated review score, for a quick overview, as well as access to more detailed feedback from past guests.
For even more accurate review scores, booking tools can also include reviews from third party sources, such as TripAdvisor and AAA. So, you can rest assured that you’re booking the best hotel for your business traveller.
Every hotel listed in HotelHub is paired with its aggregated review score, with more in-depth reviews available for further insight and information.
4. A personalised booking experience
Great customer service requires a personal touch and attention to detail. And nothing says personal service like proactively recommending a hotel where your traveller has previously stayed.
However, finding that hotel isn’t always straight-forward. Checking your traveller’s booking history to find the right property can take up time you simply don’t have.
Having a booking platform that automatically displays a curated list of hotels allows you to maximise your minutes and helps you to deliver that personal service.
Properties can be displayed based on your traveller’s previous stays. Or, if it’s their first time to a destination, their colleagues’ booking history, as well as the corporate client’s preferred or approved suppliers.
HotelHub’s HotelConnect app automatically identifies hotel stay opportunities in the GDS, then displays a personalised selection of properties based on the traveller’s booking history, previous colleague stays and preferred suppliers.
5. Get the best rate for your customers
We all know that hotel room rates can fluctuate for any number of reasons. So, with prices changing constantly, how can you provide your clients with the best value for money without having to manually check and recheck for the best deals?
This is where price assurance tools, or rate re-shopping tools, come into their own.
These tools work in the background to find a better rate and send you an email or browser notification when they find one, up until the point where cancellation charges come into effect.
But not all of these tools are created equal. More sophisticated re-shopping tools not only look for lower hotel rates. They can be configured to look for upgrade opportunities, downgraded rooms for travel policy compliance, as well as commissionable rates.
Once you’ve accepted the new offer, these tools can automatically cancel, rebook, and then update your traveller’s PNR, saving you the time and hassle of doing it yourself.
Whether you book or save a hotel for later, HotelHub’s Rate Optimiser automatically re-shops for a better rate and notifies you when it finds one. Once you accept the new rate, it cancels, rebooks and updates your traveller’s PNR.
6. Duty of care
Considering the ongoing global situation, traveller safety is more important than ever, especially if they are travelling to high-risk areas.
Knowing where a traveller is at each stage of their journey is not just essential for corporate clients, but for you and your TMC, who bear the responsibility for providing any in-trip support.
When different travel segments are booked on different platforms e.g. the flights are booked via the GDS but the hotel is booked on an aggregator site, it’s nearly impossible to keep a track of a traveller’s location, status and wellbeing.
Having all travel details in one place gives better visibility of a traveller’s whereabouts and makes it much easier for you to meet your duty of care.
Using a hotel booking platform that not only provides you with multi-channel rates, but integrates with your GDS terminal to automatically update your traveller’s PNR with their hotel booking details, ensures visibility of every travel segment, all in one place.
HotelHub is able to integrate with any GDS and automatically adds the hotel segment to your traveller’s PNR, for full travel transparency.
For more information about how HotelHub products can benefit you and your team, get in touch.