Corporate group travel covers the gamut of MICE tourism, comprising meetings, incentives, conferencing, and exhibitions involving a group of employees. Transportation and hotel group booking for teams is challenging, as the travel managers must ensure all employees travel on the same flight and stay at the same hotel for convenience.
Looking at the travel needs of several employees is a primary responsibility as one must take care of flight delays and issues with hotel bookings. Travel managers should negotiate special group rates for hotels for greater cost efficiency. Strategies for group travel booking differ from booking a business trip for an individual employee.
Hotel Group Booking Tips for Corporate
Travel managers must address the travel costs as hotel group booking involves multiple aspects that can swiftly add to the total travel costs. The following tips for group booking for business travelers can help travel managers arrange a smooth trip for the team by maximizing cost efficiency.
1. Develop an inventory
Communicate with frequent business travelers of the organization to create an inventory of preferred hotels. You can choose parameters like distance from the workplace, service quality, and proximity to public transportation and other services. Include necessary details in the inventory, like booking procedures, contact details, names of the booking managers, and email addresses.
2. Book hotel rooms
Knowing the details of group travel dates and the number of travelers is necessary for planning hotel group booking. Checking the budget and travel policy will help you select the type of rooms you need to book, such as luxury suites and mid-range accommodations.
Checking the itineraries of line managers and top executives is crucial as their arrival or departure dates may be different. Discuss with travelers about plans for preparations for presentations or events. You may have to book a couple of rooms a day or two before the beginning of the group activity.
3. Choose the location wisely
Group rate in hotels, closer to the city center, is always higher than the hotels on the outskirts. Prefer hotels away from the din of city life to allow employees to enjoy the peaceful countryside. You can negotiate free airport transfers for the group because the local transportation costs are usually higher.
4. Check package fares
Travel managers can achieve remarkable cost efficiency by exploring package fares. These can include the entire travel package, such as flight, hotel group booking, local transportation, and conference room charges. The trip cost can be less than the group’s airfare if the travel manager negotiates the package.
5. Consider booking off-season rates
Planning the corporate group travel during the off-season will ensure excellent savings on the group rate in hotel booking. Many hotel chains declare special packages and discounts to attract corporate organizations to conduct group events like conferences, training programs, and incentive travel. Checking all hotels in the vicinity will help you get a better deal.
6. Check loyalty schemes
Checking loyalty schemes before hotel group booking will help you reduce the entire cost of group travel. Loyalty schemes can include multiple travel needs, like hotel, meals, local transportation, and flights. Many hotel chains operate membership programs for corporate customers. Your organization can benefit from memberships as additional points, upgrades, free airport transfers, access to the executive lounge, and priority boarding or check out.
7. Focus on the booking flexibility
Travel managers should allow room for flexibility while negotiating group rates for hotels. Group travel plans can change at the eleventh hour. You may need to book extra rooms or cancel a few rooms. Discussing these possibilities during negotiations will help you manage the inherent uncertainties of hotel group booking for corporate employees.
8. Consider automation of travel booking
SaaS-based travel management platforms provide easy access to GDS besides several LCCs to improve cost-efficient group rates for hotels and transportation. Travel managers can simplify and speed up the travel booking process for MICE travel options. Automated travel management solutions like Paxes enable real-time travel and emergency alerts, hotel booking confirmations, and seamless access to online support facilities. The unified travel management portal enables group booking and reduces errors.
Suggested Read: Automation In Travel Management For Human Resources Team
Hotel group booking need not be demanding and stressful if you consider following these helpful tips. Online travel management platform like Paxes improves group travel management by providing each member app-based access to the centralized portal through an intuitive dashboard. They can receive periodic travel and booking alerts for an excellent travel experience. The platform allows integration of travel policy for assured compliance.
You can configure the travel management solution with expense and HR systems for greater efficiency. Travel Management Companies can ensure the best deals to help travel managers save on accommodations.
Hotel Group Bookings FAQs
What is group travel for corporate?
Arranging group travel for corporate involves planning transportation and accommodation for a group of employees to a specific destination. The purpose of corporate group travel may be an incentive, team-building, annual conference, trade fair, or training program.
What are the key challenges of group travel booking for employees?
Group travel booking involves diverse activities and responsibilities. The travel manager has to ensure everyone travels on the same flight and gets suitable accommodation in the same hotel. They have to organize local transport and airport transfers for all employees. Ensuring a hassle-free group travel involves the responsibility of duty of care for the safety and well-being of all employees.
How to simplify group travel booking for corporate employees?
Adopting an online travel management platform is suitable approach to simplify group travel booking. It provides access to a vast inventory of travel suppliers and the best deals on travel and stays. Online travel management reduces the manual workload and speeds up travel booking.
What additional amenities should one negotiate for a hotel group booking?
Free breakfast for the group, concierge services, airport transfers, free Wi-Fi, local sightseeing, and team activity arrangements are some extra facilities one should negotiate for hotel group booking.
What does corporate travel management include?
Corporate travel management comprises travel booking, expense management, travel policy compliance, and duty of care aspects to ensure smooth and productive business travel for employees.