Despite Brexit and uncertainty over economy in EU, business travel outlook in Europe remains strong. According to American Express Global Business Travel report, the spend on business travel in Europe in 2019 is expected to grow by over 4.3% making it a focus area for hotels. As with the global trend, business travelers want access to best rates and personalized content in both online and offline channels and along with seamless booking experience.
With smart phone being a necessity for today’s traveler, corporate travel has moved to the online space. More and more business travelers now prefer flexibility to search and book accommodation specific to their personal tastes. Over 60% of business travelers in the UK, France and Germany use a mobile device to shop for or book a flight or accommodation. In this article, we look at channels you need to have in your distribution mix for landing more corporate bookings.
HRS, Germany’s family run online travel agency focusing primarily on business travel, has been steadily keeping its position as the leading booking portal in the region. HRS Group, which controls Germany’s most popular OTAs – Hotel.de and HRS – the Hotelportal, caters to more than 5 million booking customers – over 70% of which are corporate travelers. HRS’s has exclusive contract with over 350,000 hotels — many of which don’t participate in traditional booking channels — gets negotiated rates and HRS’ exclusive corporate discounted rates give them an edge with business travelers. The company provides services to 400 large corporates and more than 385,000 small and medium enterprises. Hotels registered with HRS or Hotel.de can publish their rates and availability across all group platforms.
An average of 100,000 hotel rooms are booked on RoomIt each day by business travelers. Originally launched with a focus on small to midsize businesses, Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s hotel distribution division RoomIt now caters to large corporates as well, with nearly 1 million providers, including apartments. The data-driven technology behind RoomIt delivers a one-stop-shop experience with all the rooms, rates, amenities, loyalty bonuses and features necessary to enhance the travel experience. The platform is 100% fenced, and hence corporate clients can access it only through specific login, making it closed for metasearch and public environment.
Egencia is the corporate travel solution from the Expedia group. Offering personalized experiences, the channel caters to nearly 2 million business travellers in companies of all sizes. The TMC which initially focused on air travel has been steadily increasing its hotel inventory, which has resulted in a surge in the hotel room-nights booked through the platform. Earlier this year, Egencia rolled out a two-way messaging app through which hotels and travelers can communicate with each other. It is also leveraging Expedia’s relationship with hotels to provide business travelers access to special rates once they’ve booked their flight.
As hoteliers, are you ready to tap into the booming corporate travel market? Are you connected to these channels and keeping them automatically updated with rates and availability on a regular basis?
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