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Thursday, 1 April 2010

Booking the right hotel at the right price

This week’s Hotel Guest Survey, from research company BDRC, makes for interesting reading.

It shows that almost half of all business travellers have been asked to change their behaviour over the past 12 months in order to reduce costs. The survey showed that 44% of travellers have experienced an increase in the level of enforcement of their corporate hotel policies during the year. The most common change to policy has been the introduction of a cap on the rate that companies are willing to pay for their employees to stay overnight.

This is where a hotel booking tool, like Conferma’s Hotel Booker (http://www.conferma.com/Corporates/BookingEngine.aspx), comes in handy. A booking tool has the ability to enforce a new hotel policy without emotion. Yet a lack of emotion does not mean a lack of choice. Hotel Booker has a database of around 150,000 hotels worldwide, giving travellers a wide enough range of properties at every possible price point.

This works well for companies who just want to find the best rate on the day – something that is proving successful in a market where hoteliers are doing everything they can on rate to attract guests.

Yet Hotel Booker also helps those companies that have negotiated deals. Although the rate may not be the cheapest available, a night at a preferred hotel can come with other benefits – a better room, a more flexible cancellation policy or breakfast and internet access thrown in with the rate.

As well as cutting costs, Britain’s business travellers are also travelling slightly less. They spent four fewer nights away from home in 2009 than they did the previous year. Overall, UK plc spent 56 million nights in British hotels.

What is even more enlightening from the survey is the proportion of travellers who choose their own hotels – 53% of all travellers and a whopping 73% of frequent travellers. Since Hotel Booker can let you book a hotel in just three clicks, that gives time for highly recompensed executives to do what they are really paid for.

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