Hotel program audits protect an organization’s investment
For many organizations, the first quarter brings a time of reprieve from hotel program sourcing. Negotiations are likely finalized and preferred hotels are selected for the year. And, the turn of the year is a few months removed from the necessity of beginning analysis and strategy for next year’s RFP. It’s the ideal time for a hotel audit.
Think of hotel auditing as insurance—a protection of the time and resources invested in sourcing the hotel program. For a hotel, the process of loading negotiated rates into the agency global distribution system (GDS) has many potential inaccuracies. Two frequent reasons a preferred rate may be inaccurate or omitted entirely are human error in deciphering loading instructions and a hotel employee’s skillset with GDS distribution. A rate loading request can even be lost in the masses as hotels update hundreds of rates at the turn of the year, including several dozens of corporate negotiated preferred rates.
A study by Lanyon, a leading provider of hotel content and spend management solutions, revealed nearly one-third of hotels do not deliver the negotiated rate as expected. Lanyon conducted over five million audits across 300,000 hotels worldwide. Those audits identified GDS loading discrepancies 32 percent of the time. Thousands of audit results found hotels loaded rates higher than the negotiated contract. In many cases, the negotiated rates were not even loaded at all and therefore not bookable by travelers. An inaccurate rate offered by a hotel can easily cost organization thousands of dollars if not caught and corrected in a timely manner.
Fox has rate auditing solutions to assist organizations to achieve negotiated hotel savings. A proactive hotel rate audit will identify discrepancies and hold preferred hotels more accountable for delivering the savings negotiated and those the organization financially expects to achieve. Additionally, ensuring the promised rate is available at the point of sale builds travel management trust and integrity by reducing traveler confusion related to the validity of the hotel program when rates are not loaded accurately.
George Kalka is the Sr. Director, Global Sales at Fox World Travel. In his role, Kalka works with organizations to deliver Fox’s proven global travel management solutions by providing cost reductions and industry-leading technology, while enriching the service provided to their travelers. Prior to Fox, George spent over 15 years in the hospitality industry serving in regional, national and executive sales roles.