Global hotel programs don’t fit “cookie-cutter” mold

Cookie cuttersThere is no “cookie-cutter” or one-size-fits-all global hotel program in Latin America and Asia Pacific, according to a new study by the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). Travel Managers may design or adapt their program according to their own regional scope or specific needs.

The Best Western-sponsored study, “2015 Global Hotel Program Study: Asia Pacific and Latin America,” surveyed online Travel Managers in these regions in order to characterize global hotel programs, determine how they function, and examine how programs vary depending on region and travel spend. This new report follows GBTA’s “2014 Global Hotel Program Study,” released in July, which examined hotel programs in North America and Europe and found differences in hotel programs varied by region and travel spend.

“The research underscores the importance of understanding how and why global hotel programs vary in structure globally,” said Joseph Bates, GBTA Foundation vice president of research. “Rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach to their global programs, high-spend companies see value in a team-oriented program where recommendations are sought from local and regional travel managers.”

“Partnering with GBTA on this type of research provides our business with insight into the nuances of managed travel programs in various regions around the world and the differing needs of travel managers in those regions, enabling Best Western to better meet our client’s needs,” said Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president of marketing and sales.”

Key highlights of the 2015 Asia Pacific and Latin America report include:

  • Chain-wide agreements are more prevalent in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, driven most likely by global hotel programs wanting to standardize the “stay” of their employees no matter where they are.
  • In both Asia Pacific and Latin America, Regional Travel Managers are commonly involved in selecting preferred hotels and negotiating preferred hotel rates.
  • Hotel programs in Latin America are more likely than Travel Managers in other regions to be guided by their TMCs when it is time to sign new preferred hotels.
  • Regional negotiations that are passed on as recommendations to global teams could be behind the high level of satisfaction among regional Travel Managers with the RFP process.

Key highlights from the 2014 North America and Europe report include:

  • While companies based in North America tend to have centrally managed programs, their travel policy is also more likely to use guidelines in contrast to European based companies, which are more likely to use mandates.
  • High travel spend companies are more likely to issue one global hotel RFP after receiving regional recommendations.
  • On average, one in five preferred hotels is dropped from a global program each year after an RFP is issued. The rate is twice as high in Europe as in North America.
  • Travel managers in North America are more likely than their European counterparts to enter into individual property agreements, while in Europe global chain-wide agreements are more likely.
  • Regardless of region or travel spend, half of respondents indicate they rely somewhat or a lot on TMCs to manage their day-to-day hotel activities.

An online survey was conducted of 145 Travel Managers in Asia Pacific and Latin America and included members and non-members of GBTA. Fielding took place from December 8, 2014, though December 26, 2014. GBTA surveyed 272 travel managers in North America and Europe from December-January of 2014.

The 2015 Global Hotel Program Study: Asia Pacific and Latin America study is free of charge to all GBTA members by clicking here. Non-members may purchase the report through the GBTA Foundation by emailing [email protected]. The GBTA Foundation will also hold a webinar sponsored by Best Western on April 23 at 2pm ET. Registration is now open.

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