Sabre Travel Network has introduced its Rate Assured hotel certification programme, which ensures the lowest publicly available hotel rates can be found inside the Sabre global distribution system.
This includes all rates that can be found in other travel distribution channels, including Web sites.
The Rate Assured hotel programme is the first programme of its kind to check rates extensively at the property level, to confirm that individual hotel properties are providing Sabre with the lowest publicly available rates.
“With the Rate Assured hotel programme, Sabre Travel Network is working closely with its hotel partners to ensure that travel agents can with confidence book the best possible rates through Sabre,” said Greg Webb, chief marketing officer of Sabre Travel Network and Sabre Airline Solutions. “We measure pricing at each hotel, share this data back with the suppliers and work with them to ensure travel agents have the bookable hotel products they need to best serve their customers.”
“Sabre’s Rate Assured hotel programme isa good complement to Marriott’s Look No FurtherBest Rate Guarantee programme,” said Larraine Voll Morris, Marriott International’s vice-president of eChannels and GDS. “We believe that travellers shouldbe able to find the best available rates for Marriott hotels regardless of the channel they choose, and we are supportive ofagents who use Sabre being able to provide that experience to Marriott customers.”
Sabre will be using rate canvassing capabilities provided by Rubicon, a leading provider of market information applications and services to the global hotel industry, to check rates on a global scale at up to 235 sites around the world, including direct and third-party online distribution sites. Properties that provide rate parity are designated ‘Rate Assured’ on the hotel availability display and receive enhanced visibility over properties that are not providing rate parity. Additionally, a new search qualifier will allow travel agents to limit search results to Rate Assured properties only.
Sabre evaluates hotel rates on a weekly basis at the property level, varying the day of the week and the shopping parameters to ensure rate parity. If the search uncovers a publicly available rate that is lower than Sabre’s by US$1 or more, Sabre will take steps to notify the hotelier and remove the Rate Assured designation from the hotel.
“The fact that we measure rates at the property level on such a large scale and provide that reporting to hoteliers is what sets Rate Assured apart from similar parity programmes,” said Webb. “No other GDS is taking such action to measure rate parity and enforce it on behalf of its travel agents.”
“We applaud Sabre for taking this step on behalf of agents and hotel suppliers who support rate parity,” said Ted Schweitzer, vice president of eCommerce at La Quinta. “This will help travel agents by removing any uncertainty regarding whether or not they’re getting rates that are comparable to other channels.”
The Rate Assured hotel programme is the latest of Sabre’s comprehensive offerings for hoteliers and travel agencies that shop and book hotel offerings to their customers. Sabre Holdings sells more hotel room nights than any other company in the world through Sabre Travel Network, Travelocity and lastminute.com. Sabre’s hotel offerings include marketing tools such as Hotel UpSell and Sabre Surround, as well as a comprehensive suite of reservation and distribution services offered by SynXis through its RedX Distribution Management System.