12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
Research by Carlson Wagonlit Travel shows that TMCs can get better rates than online agencies most of the time
Mr David Witham, CWT's vp hotels and car relations, said the survey showed his agency could get availability 96% of the time and the lowest or joint lowest rate 70% of the time.
He told the annual meeting of the UK Guild of Travel Management Companies in Oman that the methodology of the survey had been endorsed by hotel consultants PKF.
Mr Witham said that prices offered by online agencies were often no different from what was available on the GDS or that if you tried to book them, they were not available. The availability, he said, was often “significantly low.”
Alternatively hotels, on their own websites, put up the price they wanted you to pay which might not be as good as a negotiated rate and which could change during the week.
“The message behind this is very clear. If a company has a very clear mandated hotel policy and it works with its TMC to make its hotel bookings, they can get a competitive rate. If you go outside that policy, there is a danger that in allowing people to see if they can get a better rate, the company will not then be in a position to negotiate better deals for itself.”
Mr Witham said the world of booking hotels at good rates was so complicated it was better to work with a TMC to get better rates.
He said this message had not got through to all travel managers and even agency's staff had to be educated on this.
In its survey, CWT compared its success in finding the lowest or joint lowest rate with five online agencies, Octopus, Travelocity, HRS, WorldRes and Expedia and a hotel website. Some of these scored in single figures while the hotel website was second highest with an 18% success rate.