< PrevNext > Multinational Programs Will Experiment with Hotel Savings Options By HRS Americas VP Suzanne Neufang / 27 January 2017 Share Consolidation is giving hotel chains more justification to raise rates worldwide, and most foreign cities offer a broad range of business-grade hotels, so savvy U.S.-based travel managers are engaging with their local teams outside the U.S. to learn about local hotels and access rate scenarios that offer both flexibility and savings.When HRS launched in the U.S. in 2015, we noticed U.S.-based corporations deploying unique practices to get more out of their lodging budgets outside the U.S. Here are some repeatable strategies that we see more buyers using as 2017 gets underway:Change out 10 percent to 20 percent of corporate preferred hotels during RFP season, regardless of when that season takes place: This is critical outside the U.S. in markets where there has been a lot of new hotel growth like China or where the big global chains hold a minority of the local inventory like Brazil or just about any second-tier manufacturing city. One of our global insurance customers changed out 30 percent of its program this year and realized significant savings.Ditch Excel: Online collaboration tools bring global stakeholders together. Practitioners are ecstatic at the reduction of "administrivia" in their everyday lives: Less email! Fewer huge attachments to manage! And less consolidation of stakeholder feedback because it can all be done in the online collaboration tool.Leverage the Global Business Travel Association's meetings module in your transient hotel RFP: In years gone by, we saw only a handful of buyers negotiating for some small meetings. This past season, every other client was engaged on small meetings and tried to bake in some preferred pricing in multiple cities.Engage on extended-stay options, both in your annual sourcing season and in ongoing hotel procurement: Moreover, more properties with extended-stay options are willing to offer deeper discounts on those rates in exchange for the room night commitment. Travel buyers under pressure from CFOs are raising awareness among travelers and travel arrangers about these options in their programs. HRS had added to its portfolio more than 2,000 extended-stay units across the top North America business city centers in the past two years.Consider outsourcing: An outside expert can optimize an element of your program, and travel managers can target their new free time to strategic tasks. Perhaps what's really happening is time management, as buyers take back time from the historically time-consuming operational elements of multinational hotel programs.