As a planner, your clients are often looking to save money and possibly cut corners. “Can you get a better rate at this hotel?” “Can we get a deal on this offer?” At a glance, it may seem difficult to keep your group travel planning cost effective.
However, if you approach planning the right way, it is actually quite easy to receive decreased hotel rates. Below are some tips:
Show your loyalty
Book your rooms not only during the high seasons, but also during low periods. In general, it is cheaper to book off-season. Also, part of showing loyalty lies in building a relationship. Return to the same hotel multiple times with different clients – it shows the hotel that you provide business and deserve good rates.
Hold your meeting or event at the hotel
Typically, you can receive decreased room rates if you also book your meeting, conference or event at the same location. You, the customer, are bringing in business, so it is an incentive for the hotel to offer you better rates.
Often times, it is best not to accept the hotel’s first offer, as there is usually room to negotiate. It helps if you outline your budget in advance and present it up front. If you are speaking with someone directly about your negotiations, be sure to write down the person with whom you are speaking and their appropriate details, so you can reference them later, if problems arise.
Make use of your group members’ associations and memberships
Sometimes you may be able to receive decreased rates if your client’s group members contain students, military members, government employees, or senior citizens.
A hotel appreciates knowing its rooms are booked well in advance, so a longer stay provides more security for the hotel’s business. Also, the rates are usually cheaper the longer you stay.
If all else fails, just ask to see what discounts you may be eligible for. It never hurts to ask and see what options you have.