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Hotel bookings: Why lowest price doesn't always mean the most cost-effective.

Travel bookers should consider the inclusions for hotel bookings, not just the cheapest price, says CTM Europe’s Supplier Relations Partnership Manager, Rebecca Bardsley.
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For many cost-conscious travel bookers, choosing a hotel based on lowest price is common practice and sometimes compulsory for travel programme compliance.

But there are often hidden costs involved when selecting basic fares, such as parking fees and
Wi-Fi subscriptions, which can result in a higher overall cost than originally anticipated.

It’s time that travel bookers start to re-evaluate these decisions, and question whether they are really getting the best value for money?


Preferred hotel programmes

In an age of extensive customisation and personalisation, the hotel industry is adapting to offer pick and choose bookings, allowing customers to select the inclusions they need, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

Preferred hotel programmes are the perfect way to score discounted inclusions that are relevant to your travellers. These programmes offer access to special rates, which can include benefits that have been negotiated with certain accommodation partners.

While choosing a preferred rate may not always present the lowest cost, they provide significant savings when it comes to future costs of inclusions once arrived at the hotel.


Types of inclusions

When negotiating inclusions, it’s important to understand your travellers’ behaviour and hotel requirements.

At CTM, our Account Managers work with you to uncover these trends and use our global buying power to negotiate the best possible hotel rate and inclusions with our preferred suppliers on your behalf.

CTM’s preferred partners offer a variety of inclusions for our customers, such as complimentary parking, breakfast, Wi-Fi and more.

“It may be that due to the flight times to/from a particular destination, late check-out is required for travellers, and this is something that can be negotiated into preferred hotel rates.” Explains Rebecca Bardsley, CTM Europe’s Supplier Relations Partnership Manager.

Rebecca joined the Supplier Relations team early this year and has been instrumental in the negotiation process for CTM’s preferred hotel programme.

“Our partners offer a variety of inclusions for our customers, such as complimentary parking at Village Hotels and late check-out with Edwardian.”

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Where to find the inclusions for bookings

When searching for accommodation, CTM’s online booking tool, Lightning, uses icons to represent the inclusions available for each booking. It’s important that the hotel booking is made far enough in advance, to ensure the desirable inclusions and rates.

“Booking in advance should be considered a priority when ensuring that the best hotel rate and inclusions are available.” Explains Bardsley. “Centrally-located hotels have limited parking spaces, so to guarantee there is one available, you have to be prepared.”

To assist, CTM’s booking technology prompts users when they have booked multi-day travel but have not yet selected a hotel. If selected, the user is taken back to the hotel search screen where the details are pre-populated from their previous search.


The bigger picture

Although the corporate travel industry has historically trailed far behind the innovation witnessed in leisure travel bookings, preferred hotel programmes provide a unique opportunity for suppliers to offer highly customised experiences for their corporate traveller client base.

With the evolution of preferred rates and inclusions, travel bookers are beginning to see the bigger picture, and believe that lowest cost on the booking screen, doesn’t always translate to lowest cost in real life.

Next time you book a hotel for corporate travel, ignore the muscle-memory reaction of ‘Sort By – Price low to high’, and consider the additional factors that may be impacting your bottom line.


Are you getting the best value for money on your hotel bookings?

Contact CTM today to find out how we can help negotiate relevant inclusions for your company travel, and save you money on your travel programme:

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