Wyndham Seeing More RFPs As Buyers Trade Down - Business Travel News

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Wyndham Seeing More RFPs As Buyers Trade Down

November 08, 2012 - 10:35 AM ET

By Amon Cohen

London - Wyndham Hotel Group thus far has received 23 percent more requests for proposals for 2013 rates than it did for 2012, according to executive vice president for global sales and revenue management Ross Hosking, speaking here last week at the Guild of Travel Management Companies autumn conference. Speaking later to BTN, Hosking said the steep rise partly can be attributed to buyers trading down to lower-tier properties in response to proposed heavy corporate rate increases. Wyndham owns several midscale brands, including Ramada.

Echoing industry analyses from the past few months, Hosking said hotel groups are pushing for 2013 corporate rate hikes of 7 percent to 9 percent, whereas buyers are looking to hold rates steady but might accept increases up to 5 percent. Hosking labeled ongoing negotiations "the most contentious for years," prompting buyers to closely re-examine hotel programs. "Hotels are pushing for really big rate growth, so customers are looking for ways to meet their goals for travel spend," Hosking said. "In certain markets they have decided to take out upscale properties and are looking more at midscale properties."

Hosking claimed that growth in the number of RFPs sent to Wyndham is translating to more business, and that "business travel revenue is up significantly." Asked how 2013 rate negotiations will play out, he said, "Hotel companies will draw a line in the sand where demand is greatest and then concentrate on giving customers better discounts in secondary and tertiary cities."

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