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Hotel RFP and Consortia Season: How to Get Your Share of High-Yield GDS and Corporate Business

The ever-changing travel landscape will influence business travelers' purchasing decisions heading into 2017. Hotel mergers can impact ADR, while the sharing economy means more options for business travelers to choose from. Also, global political risks and uncertainty may continue to impact business travelers and corporate travel managers.

These changes will also impact how hoteliers reach their goals and transform their corporate transient business strategies in the upcoming year.

Are you reaching the right customers? Does your hotel have the ability to increase high-yield bookings? How can you ensure you are leveraging the right programs to position your hotel to the right buyers?

If you've started to ask those questions, you're doing so at the right time. We're now approaching the peak of consortia and corporate hotel bidding season.

Corporate travel represents an important segment from a revenue and occupancy standpoint. Hotels have so many rates to manage – Rack/BAR, Consortia, Negotiated Rates, OTAs, etc. – that creating a revenue-maximizing strategy becomes a puzzle. With that in mind, we have outlined key programs to incorporate into your distribution strategy to make sure you reach the highest-yield travel buyers and shift market share.

1. Regional and Global Travel Agency Consortia Programs – Many independent and small hotel chains face the problem of visibility in the GDS, which impacts GDS bookings and travel agents who book on behalf of demanding travel customers. That is why it is important to invest in the right consortia programs to get the highest return on your investment.

How can you incorporate consortia into your strategy? Through Sabre Hospitality Solutions' consortia programs, SynXis CR hotels can receive consortia services consulting and gain exposure to over 400,000 travel agents booking more than $120 billion USD in travel. And by participating in the right consortia program, your property gains exposure among the highest-booking business travel agents globally.

2. Attract New Corporate Buyers – The global business travel spend topped $1.2 trillion USD in 2015, and is forecast to reach $1.3 trillion in 2016, according to the GBTA BTI™ Outlook. With such a large number of business trips being booked per year, corporate travelers are an important and desirable segment for hoteliers. Within our Sabre Hotel RFP network there are over 2,500 corporations booking over $11 billion USD in transient travel per year. Ensuring that your hotels are part of this segment can lead to great results.

However, you must make certain that your hotel is competing for this business in an efficient manner via an online bidding process based on the GBTA standard (Hotel RFP) and investing in qualified corporate leads. Doing so will allow you to proactively and efficiently compete for corporate transient business specific to your market. In the corporate transient market, RFP leads are unique to the technology the company or agency is using and aren't repeated in multiple lead sources. Corporate leads provide a great opportunity to create new relationships with buyers doing business in your market - just not currently with your property.

3. Expand Your Hotel's Global Reach – For an independent hotel, competing on a global basis with the large chains may seem like a difficult task. Consortia programs, corporate RFP lead services and RFP representation services are crucial. By investing in the right programs, partners and services, your hotel can gain global visibility with high-volume travel agents and discerning corporate travel buyers you don't have the brand power or exposure to reach on your own.

Take charge of your travel agency and GDS strategy. Let us help you incorporate the right solutions into your corporate business strategy, giving your properties the ability to influence behavior and shift market share to a high-yield channel.

Contact Sabre today and start building an action plan to take advantage of peak Consortia and RFP season with our Business Travel Services programs.

Cassandra Rollins Thomas

Cassandra (Casi) Rollins Thomas is a corporate travel strategist with over 25 years of global technology experience. During her 13 years at Sabre, she has worked exclusively with corporate technology and has two patents pending. In her current role as General Manager of the Sabre Hotel RFP team, Casi is helping hoteliers deliver great travel experiences to business travelers through Sabre technology.

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