Getting the best deals on hotels for business isn’t just about price - Part 1: Added value for the hotel booker

[fa icon="calendar"] 10-Nov-2017 10:02:00 / by Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown

This is the first in a series of posts that will set out the ‘hidden value’ of booking hotels via Roomex.

Part 1: Added value for the hotel booker

There has been a lot of discussion in the media recently about whether it is best to book hotels via online sites or simply to go directly to the hotels themselves.

The argument for online sites is that they present a broad range of options, allowing travellers to save time and money.

On the other hand, as was reported in the Evening Standard (27 October 2017) and elsewhere, these are not necessarily quite what they seem. The UK Competition and Markets Authority is investigating whether rankings are influenced by factors that favour the site rather than the buyer (e.g. by the commission that the hotel pays).

The CMA will also examine ‘pressure selling’ and whether websites can create a false impression of the number of rooms available or rush customers into making a decision with warnings such as ‘six other people looking at this now’ and ‘last booked three hours ago’.

The CMA also wants to establish if discounts advertised for a hotel are accurate, if they include additional items such as taxes, or if they are comparing a higher weekend room rate with the weekday rate for which the customer has searched.

However, the CMA has yet found no clear evidence of malpractice so let’s say ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

The argument for going direct is first, that many hotels these days offer a ‘best price guarantee’, i.e. they will at least match any deal going elsewhere. Some hotel chains have even gone so far as to automate this process on their booking engines, so that when travellers or bookers search for dates, the site will automatically match the lowest price available. Second, you are more likely to get a complimentary upgrade or other perk, since the hotels are not paying a commission and they want to build loyalty.

But when you use Roomex to book hotel accommodation, it soon becomes obvious that this argument is missing the point.

Of course, getting the best price is important to any company, and Roomex does deliver average savings of 21%. But price is not the same thing as value.

If your job involves booking hotels, your time is more valuable than marginal price savings. Whether you decide to search via the various (leisure travel-focused) sites or simply search online for yourself, identifying a shortlist of candidate hotels and contacting them directly, it is very time-consuming. Roomex by contrast is easy to use and cuts the time taken to book or cancel a hotel reservation. Because it searches 35 different sources, with access to all hotels worldwide, Roomex finds you the best deals at the most appropriate hotels so that you can satisfy both budgetary requirements and the needs of your ‘customers’, your company’s business travellers.

Our customers typically report that the time taken to make a hotel booking is cut by a factor of ten (e.g. from 20 minutes to two minutes or less). We carried out a survey recently in which our customers said that they valued this time-saving benefit even more than savings against hotel rate cards.

Roomex is 100% transparent with our hotel listings and you can instantly benchmark the rates displayed. In other words, Roomex displays the saving you will make against the hotel’s own best rate. If you have your own negotiated rate with a hotel chain, it is also loaded into the Roomex platform. There is absolutely no ‘pressure selling’ – because we are professionals dealing with professionals, we value long-term relationships not quick sales.

Moreover, you do not have to worry about payment, nor do the business travellers you support, as all costs are billed back to Roomex. That means additional time savings, not to mention administrative efficiency.

Roomex is so easy to use you’ll soon feel like an expert in hotel booking and management.

Finally, unlike the booking sites focused on the leisure market, Roomex offers professional service to help you along the way. We are in regular contact with hotels, so while we cannot guarantee an upgrade we can and do guarantee first-class priority support to ensure maximum satisfaction for your business travellers.

Topics: Corporate Travel