12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
For an industry which puts such emphasis on controlling costs and getting the 'best deal of the day', BSI's survey on hotel spending makes depressing reading.
It paints a picture of an industry where there is not much control nor that much policy over hotel bookings. For a sector whose annual value in the UK alone is nearly £9bn, this is astonishing. The one problem with BSI's research is that it is of a very small sample. Of the 1,860 people that BSI's pollsters Research For Travel approached, only 196 replied. (None who was approached was a BSI client.)
But 54% of the respondents were travel or procurement managers, 19% secretaries or PAas and 10% ceos.Their firms ranged from those with fewer than 100 employees (19%) to those with between 1,001 and 10,000 employees (22%) and those with more than 10,000 (23%). A good number were therefore not small companies.
The main findings were that 49% of bookings did not come with a best rate guarantee and that 20% of companies had no policy on hotel spending. The other side of this finding was that 45% did have a policy in that they had a price limit on room rates while 27% said only bookings with named hotel chains were allowed. A further 18% had a policy for juniors executive but not for board members.
One of the most worrying findings was that 87% of the respondents said that bookings were being made outside policy (where there was one). Most (72%) thought this was happening in up to 25% of bookings while 6% thought it was up to 50% while 2% thought it might by up to 75%. It sounds just like the "mis-connect" problems companies are facing with travellers who book flights outside policy by going directly to the airline website. Sadly the reason why so many seemed to be going outside policy is not revealed. If compliance was grimly low, control look equally shaky.
On actual figures, only 24% knew exactly how much they spent on hotels each year while 41% had a "very good idea". 6% said they had no idea at all.However most did keep an good eye on spend - 29% had reviewed their spend in the last three months and 41% in the last year. But there were still a large minority which had not reviewed in the at least the last two years (16%) while 9% had never reviewed it.
It may not be surprising in the light of the BSI findings that 58% of companies who responded said they had never sought expert advice on running their hotel programme.