Utell® Hotels & Resorts, the representation business unit of Pegasus Solutions and the world’s largest and most experienced sales, marketing and distribution service for hotels, has reported a 35% increase in the number of its hotels accepted year-to-date (YTD) into global corporate travel programs. Targeting this corporate travel growth potential for its members, Utell will present its global portfolio of more than 11,000 independent and small group properties at NBTA, Aug. 23 to 26 in San Diego.
Other key Utell research and predictions for 2010 show that while corporations are decreasing total travel spend from 20 to 40%, hotels are continuing to renegotiate rates. However, in the buyer’s market, hotels are compelled to offer creative packages, freeze or reduce rates, or add benefits like breakfast and high-speed Internet access to be considered for 2010 rate negotiations. Furthermore, many one-year agreements are being renegotiated as two-year agreements.
Companies reevaluating and restricting travel are looking to consolidate budgets on a reduced number of hotels per region. This highlights the need for stronger business proposals from hotels to compete in the tighter market, according to Elaine Kennedy vice president of demand sales for Utell.
“The growth in Utell hotels accepted into global corporate travel programs is partially due to negotiations that include dedicated Utell account managers providing alternative suggestions to meet a program’s unique needs and requirements. For example, suggesting a three-star hotel with exceptional service to meet criteria previously befitting a four-star property, but more appropriate for a corporation’s restricted budget,” said Kennedy.
Increasing business travel demand for independent hotels and small chain properties also demonstrates a shift in the corporate space where flexibility, pricing and individualized experience are becoming paramount in the hotel selection process. Utell is ideally positioned to reap the benefits of this changing landscape with a comprehensive worldwide portfolio of hotels that include luxury, boutique, value, business and resort offerings ranging from five- to three-star and accommodating the full range of budget requirements.
“Our latest figures also evidence an increase in the number of preferred agreements with major corporations, travel management companies and consortia groups. These agreements ensure our member hotels will continue to receive the ongoing business generation opportunities they rely on us for from all potential channels,” added Kennedy.
Utell’s hotels will be showcased at NBTA booth number 2609, with member hotels from the U.S., Brazil, France and the U.K. on-site. Utell member Living Hotels will also be on booth promoting its fully serviced member apartments available for extended stay to travel agencies and corporate buyers worldwide via the GDS and ADS.
Ric Leutwyler, president of Utell, will also attend the show and host a dinner event Monday night with key hotel accounts, travel management companies and consortia groups.