Call to Action for Hotel Industry as Cvent Report Highlights Changing Corporate Travel Manager Requirements  

Cvent, a market-leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider, today published its 2020 Cvent Travel Managers’ Report – UK Edition. The report offers new insights into what corporate travel managers in the UK are looking for when sourcing and negotiating with hotels for their corporate travel programmes.

The study also reveals the increasing impact star ratings and venue reviews have on sourcing decisions, whilst uncovering new or growing challenges such as environmental sustainability and employee safety, or duty of care.  The study was based on a survey of 200 UK travel managers conducted in early January 2020.

“Corporate travel managers are leveraging more external resources to make decisions and have more complex concerns than ever before,” said Chris McAndrews, vice president of marketing for Cvent Hospitality Cloud. “They also have more complex roles. Eighty-six per cent of respondents are responsible for not only organising travel, but also sourcing venues for their company’s meetings and events. There is a strong call to action for hotels to address these concerns and support the changing needs of CTMs in order to secure more MICE business.”  

Additional study highlights include:
CTMs are concerned about supplier transparency during the sourcing and negotiation processes o   38 per cent said lack of transparency on the part of hotels and venues when quoting pricing is their top challenge when negotiating with hotels.
o   51 per cent said that hidden costs not stated during negotiations is a top reason for excluding or removing hotels from their travel programmes
o   Other top challenges include: Hotel Chain Managers not relaying information from negotiations to their individual hotels, rate increases versus prior RFP season are above city or benchmark average, and poor service (pre and post stay).

 Importance of Last Room Availability (LRA) increases for larger travel programmes
o   More than half (51%) of CTMs said LRA is essential if hotels want to be included in their hotel programme, but differences arise when broken down by generation.
o   34 per cent of UK travel managers booking under 500 rooms per year per hotel said that they prefer LRA compared to 80 per cent of those booking 10,001+.  

 CTMs anticipate larger 2020 budgets and are expanding their travel programme options
o   49 per cent of respondents plan to increase the number of hotels in their travel programmes, whilst another 49 per cent also plan to increase room nights.
o   61 per cent of CTMs plan to support employee travel to countries not previously in their programmes.
o   Nearly 75 per cent of CTMs will incorporate new regions into their travel programmes.

Shifting priorities add complexity to the CTM role and sourcing process
o   Respondents ranked environmental sustainability as their third biggest challenge for 2020, behind only staying within budget and duty of care (employee safety), which are tied for first. It is ahead of more traditional CTM challenges including employees booking outside their travel programme, and data privacy and security.
o   Star ratings and reviews are nearly as important as amenities and rates when it comes to the key considerations when selecting a hotel for a travel programme.
o   A hotel’s corporate social responsibility programme may impact a CTM’s venue selection.