300-Plus Business Travel Managers Define Challenges in Global Hotel Sourcing Through Survey Conducted by ACTE and HRS Global Hotel Solutions

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Three hundred-plus business travel managers defined the challenges of global hotel sourcing — and the impact the process can exert on performance, compliance, and traveller satisfaction — through a joint survey by The Association of Corporate Travel Executives and HRS.

Three hundred-plus business travel managers defined the challenges of global hotel sourcing — and the impact the process can exert on performance, compliance, and traveller satisfaction — through a joint survey by The Association of Corporate Travel Executives and HRS. Released today at ACTE’s global travel conference in Dallas (April 17-19, 2016), the survey detailed the barriers to achieving target rates, startling manpower assessments generated by negotiations, and a surprising response by the hospitality industry. It also identified ways to get around the obstacles.

“This survey clearly indicates that the second largest line item in most companies travel spend is occupying more than its fair share of the travel managers talent and attention,” said ACTE Executive Director Greeley Koch “The purpose of this survey was two-fold: to define the extent of the problems and to explore solutions.”

According to the survey:

  • Travel managers spend the majority of their time negotiating with suppliers, which results in time constraints and a lesser focus on the traveller.
  • Twenty-five percent of respondent travel managers conduct rate negotiations internally through manual processes.
  • Thirty-five percent of respondents reported that hotels are slow to respond to RFPs or do not respond at all.

“Travel managers agree that traveler centricity is key to reaching their savings goals,” said Tobias Ragge, HRS CEO. - “Savvy travel managers who consider outsourcing optimize processes, reduce cost and win back precious time to focus on their travellers and duty of care.”

According to the survey, the next area for growth in the business travel industry will be monitoring traveler satisfaction with key processes such as booking and expense reporting. So far, only a minority of travel managers have a feedback mechanism for them in place (20 percent and 11 percent respectively).

Duty of care was also cited in the survey as a growing concern for traveller security in apartments or rooms that had not been vetted by corporate security. Nine percent of respondents have changed their policy with respect to shared accommodations (more restrictions) in the past two years, with a further nine percent planning to do so in the coming months.

Aside from establishing a rapport with travellers as a new approach to stronger compliance and increased savings, two other findings were included in the survey:

  • Buyers who outsource hotel negotiations are more than twice as likely to have no issues with ‘slow or no’ RFP responses than corporations who keep sourcing in-house (18% versus 8%)
  • Corporations that outsource hotel negotiations are three times less likely to see increased hotel prices becoming an issue (3% versus 10%)

The ACTE- HRS Global Sourcing Survey represents one of the most detailed look at a complex issue.
It can be found at: corporate.hrs.com/acte

About ACTE:
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives is a non-profit education and research organization serving the global business travel industry in 70 countries. Since 1988, ACTE has provided unique programs for travel managers and innovative policies that improve conditions for business travellers, while substantially increasing corporate revenue. ACTE currently leads the business travel industry with more events worldwide, managed through offices in Asia, Australia, Canada, the U.S. and Europe, with representation in Latin America, South America, and Africa. No other travel trade association can make that claim.

About HRS – Global Hotel Solutions:
HRS offers end-to-end hotel management solutions to more than 3,000 businesses globally. Offering its customers individual consulting and bespoke solutions, clients include global players from the Fortune 500 companies such as Google, China Mobile, Hitachi, Huawei, Alibaba and Panasonic.

As well as providing professional hotel procurement services and negotiating special rates with hotels, HRS optimizes the cashless and paperless payment of hotel stays, whilst offering automated invoice processing. In addition, HRS provides solutions for meeting and group bookings through a standardized online booking tool. With over 300,000 hotels in 190 countries, HRS offers hundreds of hotel chains and 180,000 independent hotels. The continuously expanding group of companies has over 1,500 employees in 25 offices worldwide, among them Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Paris, London, Mumbai, São Paulo and New York. The HRS Group’s headquarters are located in Cologne.

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