American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has launched a
suite of end-to-end accommodations products and services called Rest Assured
The solution helps travel managers and decision-makers
reduce out-of-policy bookings that stem from “well-intended traveller behaviour
and booking decisions”, according to GBT.
The TMC said its new Hotel Traveller 360 research found some
of business travellers’ biggest concerns when it comes to booking include the
importance of choice, cost, location and amenities.
Seventy-three per cent of those surveyed said saving money
is an acceptable reason to book outside of their company’s policy, while 68 per
cent cited better hotel choices. To address these issues, GBT said Rest Assured
Solutions offers access to exclusive hotel rates at global properties through
the Preferred Extras programme, with discounts of up to 25 per cent and the
availability of negotiated amenities such as favourable cancellation policies,
last room availability, free wifi and breakfast.
In addition, the Hotel Rate Guarantee offers assurance that
clients are getting the lowest hotel rate at the time of booking and can rebook
if a lower rate becomes available, supported by GBT’s Hotel Assurance and Hotel
Re-Shop Expert tools.
On average, 68 per cent of travellers surveyed said they
book off policy to find a hotel that is better located for their meeting.
Through its partnership with Booking.com, GBT said its solution provides access
to an extensive portfolio of properties, as well as more than 6 million
non-hotel listings such as homes and apartments thanks to additional
partnerships with Expedia and WWStay.
To address the fact that more than half (57 per cent) of
travellers believe they can find a better rate for accommodation than is
available on their company programme, GBT said its Rest Assured Solutions suite
is underpinned by its negotiating power.
The company said it began developing Rest Assured Solutions
following its acquisition of HRG in 2018 to fully integrate the TMC’s
accommodations solutions, align them with its own approach and address the
challenges facing travel managers and their travellers. New features are due to
be rolled out throughout 2020.
Wes Bergstrom, GBT’s vice president, hotel strategy,
commented: “Travellers want to do the right thing for their companies, and the
research shows there is an opportunity to redirect the good intentions of
out-of-policy bookers by proactively addressing common misconceptions about
getting a better price, choice, or experience elsewhere. Education and
communication is needed to understand what is included in negotiated rates,
such as wifi, parking, breakfast, or resort fees, when compared to booking
outside the preferred channel. Driving compliance is key to better data
visibility, security, savings – in short, a more effective and centralised
travel programme, which is what we are delivering to clients with Rest Assured