John Clarke, director of sales and marketing at Great Hotels says, “Volumes have increased in key corporate cities such as Paris, Barcelona, Lisbon and Moscow which account for most of the growth we’ve seen. The value of each transaction has also seen an upturn to pre-recession levels. This trend indicates the beginnings of a return to pre-recession levels for the corporate travel sector as well as the economy, with more companies investing in corporate travel. However there is always caution in the marketplace and our focus is to at least maintain current levels, if not top them.”
Great Hotels has also noted additional improvements and trends to show that the business travel sector is pushing forward in 2011. The average transaction value of bookings made via Great Hotels’ GW chain code has increased by 23% in 2011 in comparison to 2010, as well as the average length of stay increasing to 3.7 nights. This positive growth is expected to continue throughout beyond 2011.
Good customer service is being rated more highly with greater emphasis being placed on a real understanding of guest preferences. Travel buyers will aim to include more amenities and flexible terms in their negotiations and hoteliers need to be aware of this. Free access to the internet is the number-one rated amenity by travel buyers and most expect it to be included in the rate, along with breakfast, parking and access to a business centre.
John Clarke adds: “The successful RFP process for 2012 is just around the corner and hoteliers should expect to enter the next round of negotiations with an upper hand in pricing as ADR returns to pre-recession levels. As business travel makes a come-back, hoteliers are in a much better negotiating position than they were this time a couple of years ago. Dynamic pricing models are a great way to negotiate corporate rates as hoteliers can ensure they are not selling their corporate rate at an unacceptably low level. Hoteliers need to find a balance between the rate they charge and the amenities included in that rate.”
Great Hotels of the World is exhibiting at this years’ Business Travel Market in London 22-23 June, stand number 212.