SMALL MEETINGS DRIVING REVIVAL OF business Travel IN DACH REGION
New Automation for Meeting Procurement Exercises Saves Corporations Money While Making It Easier for Hotels to Bid
By Antje Trier, Meetings & Groups Procurement Manager, HRS
It has been an uneven path for corporate travel’s recovery in Germany and neighboring countries. Economic factors like worldwide inflation, supply chain issues and fear of recession had many companies reluctant to expand their travel budgets in 2022. An unexpected fourth quarter contraction in German GDP certainly did not help increase allocations as the new year dawned.
As we progress through the first quarter of 2023, though, we see encouraging signs. Even with the challenging fourth quarter news, the German government revised earlier pronouncements for 2023 and projected overall growth of 0.2 percent. GBTA released results from a January global survey of travel leaders; more than three-quarters of American and European respondents anticipate that their companies will travel more in 2023 than they did last year.
One particular finding from GBTA marries to the trend HRS sees when it comes to small meetings of 50 or fewer people. GBTA respondents said that nearly one in three (29 percent) anticipated trips would be for internal meetings and/or employee training. In Germany, north of 70 percent of meetings are small or mid-size. In a recuperating industry that is adjusting to having fewer resources, the pace of this recovery is a challenge when it comes hotel sales teams bidding for this growing volume in a timely manner.
Arriving at a most opportune time, new automation from HRS addresses this challenge with RFP automation that saves time for hoteliers while helping corporations leverage their volume.
Hotel Community Steps Up to Compete for Meetings Volume via HRS’ New MCR Offering
Corporate lodging procurement leaders and meeting planners faced with finding compelling options for a growing calendar of meetings have a new option this year. First announced in October, HRS’ Meetings Consortia Rate (MCR) gives hotels a more streamlined structure to define meetings offerings and even expedite contracting scenarios for their engagements with corporations.
Today, more than 100 hotels across Germany’s top 20 corporate destinations are providing rates to compete for this wave of corporate meeting volume. Cumulative highlights of these MCR rates include:
→ Room rates that are 11 percent lower than local public rates
→ Flat conference rates that are 5 percent lower than local public rates
→ All hotels have predefined cancellation policies that are more flexible than typical industry standards
→ 61 percent of participating hotels are including one or more onsite amenities
→ All hotels are accepting bookings without pre-payment for groups of 50 or less
→ HRS automation supporting the MCR initiative eases the administrative hassle of typical corporate negotiations while expanding the universe of companies gaining access to this unique rate program
As more hotels win more volume via the MCR initiative, we see increasing interest from both the buy and supply side. Hotels in France are also starting to sign up, as well as corporate meeting programs with volume across German borders.
The centrovital Hotel Berlin is aggressively competing for the growing volume of simple meetings, and they were quick to implement HRS’ MCR program as part of their effort to win more bookings for 2023. “With the Meeting Consortia Rate, we are reaching a larger number of conference customers,” said a hotel spokesperson. “We particularly like HRS’ automated RFP submission process, which saves us a lot of work.” The centrovital Hotel Berlin, with its 157 guest rooms and meeting facilities, is a Certified Conference Hotel located directly next to Lake Spandau.
If you are interested in learning more about how the MCR initiative can work for you, please contact your HRS account manager or send an email to List_HRS_meetingconsortiarate@hrs.com.