Hollywood sign out of the plane window

Like Hollywood’s end-of-the-year race to release movies for best-picture consideration, every hotelier wants to draw a crowd to their property. Hoteliers can learn a lesson or two from Hollywood when it comes to luring larger audiences and grossing higher returns. It didn’t take long before Hollywood realized that a mighty band of superheroes was better than one when it comes to prevailing over all other rivals and triumphing at the box office.

Similarly, consortia follow the same overall strategy (RFPs) in creating winning alliances that attract all types of people. It brings together corporations, syndicates, franchises, business TMCs and travel agents, such as American Express, Carlson Wagonlit, BCD Travel or HRG, to deliver higher bookings and greater revenue. It’s the strongest alliance any hotel can make and provides hoteliers the cheapest marketing they can buy. The right combination can increase your hotel’s exposure and help drive direct bookings, increase ADR and number of room nights, plus bolster revenue — delivering a formidable end game.

Capture A Larger Audience of Business Travelers

Perhaps the greatest superpower consortia have is the ability to market to their customers by offering competitive rates at hotels worldwide. Joining consortia and TMC hotel programs is often a decision made within a hotel’s revenue and sales team. Frequently, the common perception among independent and smaller hotel chains is focused on the high costs of joining a program. However, you need to step back and look at the entirety of what consortia offer hoteliers before realizing its full value.

Consortia allows hotels to load rates against dedicated rate codes for an entire year in the GDS. All of this means your hotel has a full year of marketing and direct POS to thousands of travel agents, their clients and ultimately to the end business traveler on a quest to find the ideal place to stay.

Hoteliers will not find any other marketing in the industry over the same length of time that offers the same broad audience reach, the same tracking and ROI options at the same or lower costs.

Think about it for a second. How do you effectively measure an ad in a travel magazine? Do you measure the return based on number of subscribers or copies sold, by clicks to your website? And how do those figures convert into actual bookings and sold RNs? Every booking and RN sold through consortia can be precisely tracked, analyzed and measured for overall effectiveness. More importantly, the program data can help you fine-tune your marketing efforts to deliver the results and ROI your hotel is after.

Another misperception independent and smaller hotel chains have is the fact that nowadays many agents are home-based or their clients use a corporate online booking tool (OBT) to book their own hotel rates, so why select your consortia? Again, that doesn’t mean consortia or TMC hotel programs are less valuable, quite the opposite is true. Now more than ever, it’s important to display your hotel in the right channels, at the right time, to the right audience. Getting your marketing messages through to corporate OBT and in front of their business travelers is usually only available through their dedicated travel agency. This is where consortia and TMC partners come in handy.

Showtime Is Fast Approaching

Now that you understand the reach and underlying value of consortia and TMC programs, it’s time to take part in the action. In deciding what consortia should be part of your hotel’s marketing strategy and budget, it’s important for sales and revenue managers to take an active role in the process. Work closely with the marketing teams at your hotel to ensure your consortia partnership is managed successfully — not just at the time of sign-up — but throughout the year.

It’s never too late to look at the number of RNs, track data and pull reports, and study different package options and various consortia partners to help you select the right programs. Review the consortia fact sheet to ensure the agency locations, booking destinations and client type fit your hotel.

Only consider partners who are known to produce GDS business into your market.

Also, you need to begin preparation of your hotel’s negotiated company rates, consortia/TMC rates starting with your preferred hotels, public rates/BAR, plus provide prompt responses to RFPs.

Leverage the Power of Our Superheroes

Looking to create an alliance of strength? At Sabre, our consortia services help independent hotels and groups without direct agreements in place. In fact, our affiliation with the best global consortia and TMC hotel programs enables you to enter into preferred partnerships usually only open to larger hotel chains. And don’t forget the strength and reliability of our GDS when it comes to extending our market reach even further. We facilitate access to TMC offices in all major locations and include marketing opportunities to reach the increasing number of home workers and end business consumers using an online booking tool.

For further evidence of our consortia capabilities

In 2019, the 1500 hotels that are already using Sabre consortia services have seen nearly double-digit growth in RN booked in the GDS. This impressive figure is attributed to those hotels that have invested in consortia packages (10+ hotel programs), are actively working with consortia partners and are executing sales and marketing activities. In addition, we have seen an ADR that’s nearly 20% higher than hotels only investing in a few programs a la carte.

This all goes to show that having the technology partner with all the alliances in place can help make this seemly daunting task an easier one to navigate and manage in helping your hotel achieve never-before-seen results. Take a lesson from Hollywood and its mighty band of superheroes. Join forces and start winning a greater share of business travel bookings and boost your ADR that drives total revenue growth. Visit our Consortia page for more information + helpful resources.