BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
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An up-turn in business travel means hoteliers will be entering corporate rate negotiations “with an upper hand in pricing”, the CEO of a global hotel consortium has said.
John Clarke, director of sales and marketing at Great Hotels, said: “As business travel makes a come-back, hoteliers are in a much better negotiating position than they were this time a couple of years ago.”
In response travel buyers, however, are likely to negotiate for more amenities and flexible terms, said Clarke, with complimentary internet the highest on the list of priorities.
“Hoteliers need to find a balance between the rate they charge and the amenities included in that rate,” said Clarke.
The business travel sector is seeing strong growth, according to recent figures from sales and marketing alliance Great Hotels of the World (GHOTW).
The alliance reported an increase in bookings made via global distribution systems (GDSs), the preferred method for business travel bookers.
Bookings made using the GW chain code were up 20% during the first quarter of 2011, compared to the same period in 2010.
The average transaction value of bookings made via the GDSs has also increased year-on-year, by 23%.
Clarke said most of the growth had been seen in “key corporate cities” such as Paris, Lisbon and Moscow.
“The value of each transaction has also seen an upturn to pre-recession levels,” said Clarke.
“This trend indicates the beginnings of a return to pre-recession levels for the corporate travel sector as well as the economy, with more companies investing in corporate travel.”