Jon West is managing director of hotel booking specialist HRS. He urges travel buyers to use intelligent sourcing strategies to “optimise their hotel procurement and make substantial savings”. Here Jon shares some of his top tips:

  1. Evaluate hotel spend and design an effective programme strategy

The first step in optimising hotel spend is making an accurate assessment of where the programme stands in terms of spend the corporate hotel policy, preferred supplier rates, negotiated conditions and the ability to book through global distribution systems. Once a clear and concise overview of bookings has been obtained, specific recommendations for actions can be derived and formulated.

  1. Reduce the hotel portfolio in order to decrease the rates by bundling the volume

Bundling hotel volume leads to a reduction of average rates per room night

  1. Include newly-opened hotels within your reduced hotel portfolio

When given the chance to bid alongside established hotels they are likely to offer competitive rates and will give your hotel programme a more efficient structure

  1. Consider distance of hotels from work locations in order to reduce the total cost of the trip

The hotel may be cheaper, but how much does it cost to get there if it’s further away?

  1. Don’t forget the employee-preferred hotels to encourage compliance

One of the main frustrations for procurement professionals is leakage from travel programme. Without compliance you it is not possible to achieve the efficiency and cost savings that full control brings. Having the right hotel portfolio for travellers will have a direct impact on compliancy to travel policy.

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