It seems like everyone has their favorite website when it comes to booking travel, and there’s certainly no shortage of choices; from garden gnomes to bearded sea captains, everyone claims to have the best deals. What only travel insiders know is that,
- almost of these companies are owned by one of two major OTAs (online ticketing agencies), and
- they can’t help you if you need more than 7-8 rooms for your group.
To book hotel rooms for a group, anything over 8-10 rooms per night is typically routed to Sales. Your salesperson will quote rates based on the dates, number of rooms requested and availability.
Like with any consumable good, hotel pricing is extremely responsive to supply & demand pressure from the market. Stated more simply, the fewer rooms left to sell, the higher the price. When the hotel availability is wide open, room rates are much lower. Hotels analyze decades of pricing data to glean local travel patterns and seasonal demand in order to set rates that maximize revenue. Understanding these key market drivers will help you negotiate pricing when you travel. The great news is that hotel salespeople willingly share this information for the asking! Next time you’re booking a group of rooms for a meeting or occasion, ask your hotel salesperson what travel patterns or seasons are “off peak” and score great savings.
What about when you need help choosing a destination in the first place? Every OTA is chockfull of hotel beauty shots that make even the lowliest hovel look like The Plaza. It’s much harder to find reliable, comprehensive destination reports that give a complete picture of different cities and what you need to know before you book. Here’s another “pro tip” for your group, travel technology company, Vindow SaaS, has made available destination profiles for major cities to solve this problem. It’s a great place to research and compare major cities and destinations to make the choice that’s right for your group.
Research and negotiate – two keys to making sure you group gets the value and service they deserve