Enter travel management companies, third-party hotel rate auditors and others that assess corporate hotel rate programs. They’ll check to see if negotiated rates were properly loaded, scan for squatters and check into availability.
Lanyon offers tools for both buyers and suppliers. “They keep both sides of the fence honest,” said senior product director Bruce Hyatt.
He described the firm’s latest product feature, Reverse Audit, as a “squatters report.” Lanyon built it based on demand from a few clients and plans to launch it this year.
Several buyers said they find value in Lanyon’s Rate Availability report to at least get a glimpse down the road. That includes Universal Music Group vice president of global travel Pamela Witherspoon.
“It gives me an opportunity to take my top cities, my top hotels and take a look at if my negotiated rate is available out into the future,” she said during the GBTA conference panel. “It’s pretty interesting, but I have to do something with it. That means I need to communicate with my hoteliers. But I’d love to see the technology advance so we’re not doing so much manual work at the end.”
Amex uses that tool, too. “You can do a constant forward-looking rate audit,” Strachan said. “We can look ahead to see if their $100 LRA rooms are available on a Tuesday night. If they are consistently blocking out that rate on a Tuesday night, you have the opportunity to go back to the hotel, or take them out of your program.”
...Read the rest of the article here