Why Negotiated Rate Checks Always Pay Out
Berlin, Germany – 19 September 2017 –
Clear room and rate type descriptions are extremely important for the booking process. For Travel Management Companies (TMCs) and corporate travelers, it is even more important to find the negotiated rates that the company has agreed on during the RFP (Request for Proposal) process, Friederike Winkowski of h2c consultants stated. Also distinct services information such as breakfast inclusions and Wi-Fi have a positive impact on driving conversion rates during the shopping process.
A recent GTBA study found that 17% of negotiated rates are not displayed correctly. Advito, BCD’s sister company, even found that 26% of these rates are not correct or completely missing at the beginning of the year. These findings are underlined by h2c’s own research (based on our clients’ data), where 20-30% of all rates are subject to various kinds of errors.
Errors are nearly unavoidable because the rate loading process is usually managed by multiple parties. And hotels are hardly ever aware of this situation, because they often do not have access to the actual rates loaded in the GDS. The hotel’s first notice of this situation is often triggered by corporate client complaints who are not receiving the right room rates.
To avoid this situation, h2c conducts negotiated rate checks on behalf of hotel chains on a regular basis. We found that the main reasons for incorrect data are:
- Quality assurance processes are not established as hotel chains rely on TMCs to conduct these checks. However, not all TMCs conduct checks on a regular basis; and spot-checks carried out by CRS companies are often not sufficient.
- The RFP process is lengthy, normally involving several companies and departments. This can result in negotiated rates not being loaded. Clear standards for effectively managing internal processes at hotel chain level can help to speed up rate loadings, ensuring that technical challenges do not hold up the whole rate loading process.
- Negotiated rates are often extended prior to the expiration date (ensuring they are still available despite a possible rate value change for the new contracting period). Make sure extended rates are updated as soon as the bid/new agreement is accepted.
- Technical challenges with PMS, CRS and GDS connectivity (or other systems that are involved in the whole process) due to interface issues and other reasons.
Struggling To Keep OTA Content Updated?
For keeping your hotel display accurate, it takes considerable time and efforts to update descriptive content in all employed OTAs, metasearch and review websites. Why? Because updates are complicated by varying content types and data entry points by channel on the one hand, and by frequent OTA extranet and layout changes on the other hand.
H2c has developed one common database to manage descriptive OTA content for all employed channels including metasearch and review sites. With CONTtest, OTA revenue opportunities can be increased: CONTtest points out if the broad scope of hotel criteria (required for OTA filter options) is loaded correctly. In turn for the time savings for updating static OTA content, hotels have the opportunity to connect additional OTA channels without losing control of data quality.
Top Tips For Increasing GDS Bookings
What keeps hotels from improving their GDS presentation on a regular basis? Keeping content fresh and targeted is time consuming and requires experience. For the decision-making process of the booker (travel agent), GDS content must be presented precisely.
For increasing GDS bookings, your content display should consider the following:
- Correct IATA and geo-coding, making the property visible for travel agents
- Rate display must follow a clear and appealing strategy
- Special contracted (secured) rates must be available at the right time e.g., January 1st
- Correct loading of secured rate value and contracted amenities e.g., breakfast, free Wi-Fi, etc.
- Rate and room type descriptions should follow a consistent, easy-to-grasp information structure (travel agents like it brief)
- Room size and bed types should be included in the room description
- Rate rules section (cancellation/penalty policy) should comply with general property cancellation information
- NTM rating (Sabre and Worldspan) in the U.S. is important and needs to match the property’s star rating
- Correct search criteria e.g., for travel agencies filtering hotels by business facilities (wrong/missing content results in hotel invisibility for filtered search requests)