Phoenix, June 18th, 2013
Hotel companies are being forced to go the extra mile for Group business, as demand remains sluggish in 2013. This was the message from Julie Reigle, Principle for Horwath HTL USA and a recognized industry expert on Sales Marketing and E-Commerce. Julie was speaking during this years NYU hospitality conference in New York. Horwath HTL, The world’s oldest and largest hospitality consulting network were sponsors the conference and appearing on a panel on Demand Generators moderated by Jeff Weinstein, editor of Hotels magazine.
Even though forward bookings presented by TravelCLICK indicated that group business was looking better for 2014, 2013 remains soft, putting group bookers in a strong position to negotiate good deals and squeeze concessions from hotels.
Julie Reigle said, “This downturn has shown that group business in hotels has been the one market segment that has been slow to come back. FIT business has really been taking up the slack, and even though the vagaries of how groups book and inaccurate ways that hotels register bookings might be responsible for some of the loss, its still really a lack of corporate conference that is holding the business back. For hotels with deep pockets, other ways of driving demand such as really exceptional events and USP’s might be brought into play, but for the majority of businesses doing more with less which means leveraging social media and other technologies to punch above their weight is absolutely key.”