Optimizing hotel spend and bidding travel management
services topped the list of 2011 travel buyer priorities, according to a poll
of 102 corporate travel decision-makers conducted last month by Lanyon. Nearly
36 percent of those surveyed ranked "optimize hotel spend (combine, manage
and leverage transient project)" as their top project for next year while
30 percent named "conduct an RFP for travel management providers," as
their priority, according to Lanyon chief commercial officer Michael Boult.
These "two categories represented 66 percent of things
people were going to do—that's stunning to me," Boult said. "Maybe
these deals are all just up."
The TMC RFP findings come 15 months after nearly half of 159
buyers who responded to a ProMedia.travel poll said they had or would issue a
TMC RFP in 2009. Any such contracts signed then could well be up for renewal or
rebid. At that time, one-fifth of those buyers said they sought one-year TMC
contracts, 23 percent wanted two-year contracts, one-third requested three-year
deals and 15 percent targeted five-year agreements.
In the Lanyon poll, 12 percent of respondents said they
planned to implement a strategic meetings spend management program in 2011,
while 5 percent said they had a program in place already but planned to conduct
an RFP for meetings management solutions. Lanyon asked more than 3,000 buyers
in its database of customers and prospects to spend five minutes to indicate their
sentiments on 12 topics in the online poll.
Two-thirds of respondents said they were "not confident"
that "meeting policies exist and/or are followed throughout the
corporation." The other third of respondents said they were "somewhat
confident" about that topic. No respondents opted for "very
Three of five respondents said they were not confident that
their "meeting data/rates are shared within your travel program," and
the other 40 percent said they were somewhat confident.
Half of respondents also said they were not confident of the
accuracy of their companywide meetings data, while 38 percent said they were
somewhat confident and nearly 13 percent were very confident.
Forty percent of respondents said their travel departments
were responsible for their companies' meeting programs, 20 percent said
procurement, another 20 percent said the meetings department, 10 percent said
marketing and the remaining 10 percent said other.
As for other 2011 initiatives, nearly 8 percent said they
intended to conduct an RFP for airline spend next year, while 4 percent each
said they expected to implement internal high-definition videoconferencing
capabilities. Another 4 percent planned to focus on such ground transportation
issues as taxi, limo or airport parking.
Fifteen respondents volunteered other 2011 initiatives,
Boult said, including data consolidation, global travel program expansion,
integrated card and expense.
Nearly half of respondents said they were "somewhat
concerned" about "reporting year-over-year savings to management in
the event your negotiated hotel rates increase in 2011," while 36 percent
said they were "very concerned" and 13 percent were "not
"This was the most revealing thing to me, as 83 percent
were very or somewhat concerned" about the possibility of reporting
increased hotel rates, Boult said. "The question is, what are you going to
do about it?"
More than half, 56 percent, of respondents said they were
only somewhat confident of the accuracy of their companywide hotel spend for
transient, projects and meetings. Just 29 percent were very confident of such
hotel spend accuracy.
Lanyon also asked respondents to indicate the compliance
rate for preferred hotel bookings versus all hotel bookings made in the past 12
months. Nearly 43 percent said more than 75 percent of their companies' hotel
bookings were at preferred properties, nearly 40 percent said more than 50
percent of their bookings went to preferreds, 12 percent set the percentage at
more than 25 percent and 6 percent of respondents said they didn't know.
Nearly half of respondents said more than 75 percent of
their companies' bookings made via a self-booking tool or by their TMC included
a hotel reservation. One-third set the rate at more than half of their bookings
and the remaining 21 percent said just 25 percent of their bookings included a
This report appears in
the Nov. 8 issue of Business Travel News.