November December 2018

A fresh resource for people who plan and manage meetings, events, business travel, promotions and incentive programs. Providing you with inspiration, guidance and great ideas.

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Page 38 of 83

November | December 2018 | Ignitemag.ca | 39 corporate travel management Technology updates, T + E trends and best practices in travel programs J ust before the summer 2017 travel season, Marriott International and Hilton announced that they were revising their cancellation poli- cies, and would require notification ranging from 24 to 72 hours to avoid being charged for a night's stay. When German-based hotel booking site HRS crunched the numbers, they found that 5 per cent of all corporate bookings are cancelled within 48 hours of the sched- uled arrival. In a survey of 100 travel managers, 59 per cent told HRS that they expected travel costs to go up. (One large client with $82 million US in annual bookings through the site would face $600,000 a year in penalties at Marriott and Hilton properties alone.) Not surprisingly, 82 per cent of those surveyed said if all other things were equal, they'd book with a hotel that allowed for cancellations up to 6 pm on the day of arrival. So how can you avoid penalties? Read on: Penalty killers How to avoid hotel cancellation fees by Allan Britnell Negotiate If you're a travel manager with a significant annual budget, you may be able to negotiate with specific chains for more lenient policies. One source who books for a well-known Canadian media company (but would rather remain anonymous) says she's successfully negotiated better cancellation policies with both Marriott and Hilton. "None of the hotels [we use] have policies requiring 24 hours notice or more," she says. Shop around If you can't negotiate a better deal, find alternatives that meet your needs and book only with those that do. The Alt Hotel at Toronto's Pearson Airport, for example, has a posted cancella- tion policy of 4 pm the day of arrival. Setting up preferred partner plans with a limited number of venues will help build favourable relationships with those brands. w

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