New Types of Hotel Rates Ahead

Let’s face it, it’s just a matter of time before hotels start offering non-refundable rates to corporations.  And you thought the hotel RFP process was already a pain in the butt.

Just wait until buyers have to try comparing a 10-day advance booking for a 20% discount at one property to a Continue reading

Social Scanning, Fuzzy Shopping and More Travel Innovations

**Update: The four finalists are noted below in bold purple text.**

The Phocuswright Travel Innovation Summit showcased 34 firms yesterday. Each has an interesting new angle on some aspect of the travel business. For me, the firms in the social scanning and fuzzy shopping categories were the most intriguing.  See this post for my take on the implications for travel procurement. Continue reading

Baking and Data Reporting

What the heck does baking have to do with travel data reporting, you ask?

Baking and Data ReportingIt makes for an interesting metaphor.  I used this concept in the speech I gave at the ACTE Canada conference this week in Toronto.  I’ll admit that the skit was a bit hokey, but the points about poor preparation of data, half-baked analysis and hanging Christmas lights on plain-jane data were too good to pass up.

Once I got beyond these process-related problems, we dived into Continue reading

Hotels and CO2: Good Green Metrics

Are you factoring carbon emissions into your travel procurement decisions? It doesn’t yet seem to be a strong trend in the U.S., in part due to the lack of good metrics.  Here’s a company that is taking on the hard work of measuring CO2 emissions for hotel rooms: The Hotel Carbon Index. Continue reading

Hotel Sourcing Technology Contacts

If you’re about to source hotels, you (or your TMC) will likely want to use one of these Hotel RFP platforms.  By platform, I mean the technology that allows you to upload a bid list (the list of hotels to which you want to send an RFP), distribute a standardized RFP, collect the responses, and conduct rate negotiations.

If you have an opinion about any of these providers, let’s hear it! Continue reading

Clusters and Hotel Sourcing Innovation

As promised, here’s more on the story of hotel clusters and why it’s so relevant to your hotel sourcing efforts.  The link above takes you to the must-read‘s online site, where you’ll get an in-depth look at what clusters are and how they can be used to make your hotel sourcing life easier and more effective.  For a handle on the key concepts behind clustering, see this post.  In short, hotel clustering’s main benefits are:

  • Creates highly relevant neighborhood-level markets for rate benchmarking and negotiations
  • Eliminates hundreds of non-relevant hotels from the bid list Continue reading

Canceled Meetings – Brilliant Idea?

File this under two headings: “Why didn’t anybody think of this before?” and “Tell my meetings managers about these guys!” sure caught my eye at the NBTA show earlier this week. Hotel industry veteran Tim Brooks founded this firm to create a market for canceled meetings.  If you’ve ever been hit by a cancellation clause in a meeting contract, you’ll appreciate this service. Continue reading

Hotel Orphans and Clusters – Some New Lingo

Those bright boys and girls at TRX Travel Analytics (TTA) are breaking new ground in the hotel sourcing arena.  More on that topic after NBTA, for sure.

Innovative ideas require new ways of describing things, right?   Here are some ways that TTA describes the hotels that are – or could be – part of a buyer’s hotel travel program. Continue reading