The past few years have been a time of peaks and troughs for the hospitality industry. And while we’ve certainly seen an upward trend in its recovery, there continues to be fluctuations in demand and rising hotel room rates. To keep up with this ever-changing landscape, hotels have had to adapt and adopt different strategies.
For business travel arrangements, many hoteliers are relying more and more on hotel revenue management strategies. Data collection and analysis to predict guest behaviour and demand, along with dynamic pricing to maximise profitability, are tactics that are frequently used.
But what do these strategies mean, exactly? Well, depending on the demand patterns, local factors and hotel occupancy, prices for hotel rooms will fluctuate so that hotels can maximise the rates in real time. This can pose a challenge for companies that apply static caps in their travel policy’s hotel daily rate since they can potentially miss out on savings. Luckily, features like Egencia’s dynamic hotel rate cap policy can help optimise business travel savings while also providing an efficient and curated booking experience.
What are dynamic rates?
Dynamic rates are a pricing method used in the hotel industry that adjusts hotel room rates based on demand in real time. Room prices are determined by various factors, including the number of available rooms and reservations at a hotel.
Through the use of machine learning, a dynamic rate cap determines the price-per-night rate for travellers based on the median price. Rate caps are automatically adjusted to reflect price fluctuations without the need for travel managers to do it manually.
How does dynamic pricing work?
Hotels will adjust the prices of rooms they have available based on several factors, including occupancy, the season, the time of booking, and competitors’ pricing. For instance, let’s say a hotel's average off-season price is $120 per night for a standard room, but every year a large conference takes place in the area that brings in many professionals from out of town resulting in a high demand for rooms. As demand increases and room availability dwindles, the hotel adjusts the price to $170 to take advantage of the surge in reservations and optimise its profits. Likewise, if a hotel sees a dip in bookings or an increase in cancellations, they can lower their rates to incentivise travellers to book with them.
Hotel dynamic pricing for business travel
While dynamic rates are a great way for hotels to maximise profits, the strategy can pose quite a challenge for travel managers and business leaders. Since most companies manually set their own rate caps by city, region or country, travel managers must spend time reviewing everything from corporate booking patterns to local trends in order to determine a suitable per-night rate.
Despite the time spent finding the best rate, it's still possible to miss out on bigger savings in different cities and towns. However, with Egencia’s dynamic hotel rate cap, your company can optimise spending while also getting personalised options for all your corporate travellers.
The benefits of dynamic pricing caps
Dynamic pricing caps provide the flexibility to adjust rates as the median changes without the need to apply it manually, therefore saving you time as well as money. The caps can also help employees follow your company’s travel policy and enhance their overall booking experience.
Because dynamic pricing caps automate the process of finding the best available rates and adjust rate caps in real time, travel managers don’t have to spend as much time analysing and researching past data or local trends to determine the best rates. And, since dynamic cap features, like Egencia's curated results, are based on your company's travel policies and booking patterns, travellers spend less time booking their hotel rooms.
Staying in line with policy
Egencia’s dynamic hotel rate cap feature is tailored to your company’s travel policy. If a traveller tries to book a hotel room that has a rate outside of policy, they won’t be able to do so. Instead, they’ll receive a clear explanation as to why the booking was unsuccessful while saving your company money by avoiding unwanted costs.
Optimise your traveller’s booking experience
Egencia’s dynamic hotel rate caps can help companies and travel managers deliver customised rate cap adjustments for all hotel bookings. That means you get to decide what’s best for your travel programme—a one-time setup or a mix and match of static and dynamic rate caps.
Once the setup is complete, Egencia will search for the median rate in a city and adjust the price setting based on that median. Adjusted rates will automatically show up as part of the booking experience for travellers searching for rooms.
Gain personalised insights into booking trends and savings
Travel managers will also be able to benefit from detailed reporting and visual dashboards that will show the median rate, the booked rate, and how savings are calculated.
Travellers and travel managers can enjoy a quick and intuitive booking experience that provides smarter and cost-effective search results. Since its launch, Smart Mix for Hotel has helped our customers save hundreds of thousands of dollars (and counting)1. Want to optimise savings? Read about our Savings Finder for Hotel.
Dynamic pricing and machine learning
Most companies set hotel rate caps manually by city, town, or destination. Egencia’s dynamic hotel rate cap policy feature saves travel managers time by using an AI-powered algorithm to adjust hotel rate caps in real time based on the median rate.
With this automated feature, travellers can enjoy an elevated, fast, and curated booking experience while your company saves money. For instance, if you have different levels of travel groups (such as executives who typically have a higher daily rate), search results are automatically adjusted to reflect the traveller’s characteristics at the time of booking.
Dynamic policy impact
One of the biggest ways that a dynamic policy can benefit your business is with the time it saves travel managers. Instead of having to manually adjust the caps for hotel rates in a certain location or for various travel groups, they’re adjusted automatically, giving travel managers back valuable time while providing a personalised booking experience for employees.
Thanks to the flexibility of dynamic caps, your company doesn’t have to miss out on savings. You can choose to have a static cap for some cities and activate dynamic caps for others. You can also choose just how strict you want your policy to be by specifying the minimum star rating for median rate calculation. That way, travellers have the benefit of finding the accommodation that meets their needs and still save money. On average, it’s estimated that Egencia’s dynamic hotel rate cap policy saved travellers $20 per hotel booking. That’s $2M saved in just 2022 alone and over 200K bookings with optimised savings.1
Take savings further with Egencia
We're dedicated to providing an excellent travel booking experience for corporate travellers while helping your business evolve with the pace of change in the travel industry. To learn more about how we can help your company, fill in the form below and contact one of our corporate traveller consultants.
For more details on hotel trends and findings, please check out the Amex GBT 2024 Hotel Monitor.
1 Amex GBT Egencia internal reporting, September 2023.