Hotel amenities: time to ask questions
2021 is a time of economic difficulties with expenditure being scrutinized where the purchase of hotel amenities for employees on business trips could drastically change. This is a result of unjustified costs and deals that haven’t adapted to changes in demand.
How about artificial intelligence designed to monitor hotels in real time which is embedded in the systems used in companies? This is what hotel booking specialist HRS has been offering for just over a year. A development that the supplier wanted based on an observation: the prices offered by the tools are 17% wrong. This innovation has been welcomed by corporate decision-makers, more than ever focused on the need to optimize spending.
The health crisis and its ongoing effects are shown in an increased willingness to eliminate unnecessary costs. A Forrester study carried out for technology solutions provider Amadeus (1) showed that 75% of travel managers want to tackle content fragmentation. This would have repercussions on hotel purchases where companies do not seem to be paying the best prices.
Major hotel chains greatly influence the provision of accommodation for business trips with their constantly growing territorial network around the world. 75% of the properties offered by TMCs depend on these sprawling groups, even though they only represent 20% of the world’s hotels, and only 12% in Europe, as highlighted in a survey conducted by the international association, GBTA, in 2019 (2)., Using the deals offered by these hotel players has negative economic consequences since 12% of the cost is constituted by buying a service from one of the associated brands. In addition, distribution costs are not negligible, with rates ranging from 10% to 20% of the final cost.
Towards more competitive and less standardized offers
Influenced by the expectations of a younger generation of workers, business travelers are showing less and less interest in traditional hotel offers. Original, unusual hotel experiences are becoming increasingly important. Many industry observers note that a traveling employee is usually a complete customer of the hotel. That is, they are often a consumer of additional revenue streams such as the hotel restaurant and this should encourage corporate clients to negotiate more.
Offers focusing on user-friendliness, co-working options or social and eco-responsible criteria are becoming increasingly important. For example, Okko Hotels includes an evening aperitif to encourage meetings within the hotel. In this sense, it may be time to reform the historical system of stars which provides guarantees on the hotel product only, without sufficiently including the employee’s experience.