American Express Global Business Travel has unveiled new technology aimed at helping travel managers reduce out-of-policy accommodation bookings.
The company says the development of Rest Assured Solutions, as the platform is called, started when it acquired Hogg Robinson Group in 2018.
The idea is to bring together various accommodation systems, as well as address the challenges travel managers have with rogue spending and confusion over policies.
Rest Assured Solutions provides travelers with a range of products and services, including exclusive hotel prices, a rate guarantee and GBT’s payment system, Virtual Payment Expert.
Research carried out by the company in late-2019 on hotel booking behavior reveals that almost three-quarters believe it’s okay to book outside of company policy if it saves money.
In addition, 68% say it’s acceptable to do so if it means better accommodation choices and the same percentage believe the same if it's a better location.
The platform provides access to properties from the company’s partnership with Booking.com, as well as loyalty program member rates from hotel chains and private accommodation via other online travel agencies such as Expedia and WWStay.
Wes Bergstrom, Amex GBT’s vice president for hotel strategy American Express GBT, says: “Travelers want to do the right thing for their companies, and the research shows there is an opportunity to redirect the good intentions of out-of-policy bookers by proactively addressing common misconceptions about getting a better price, choice or experience elsewhere.”
He adds that through education of what travelers are actually getting in the preferred booking channel versus outside it, companies can improve compliance and get better visibility on spend.
Additional insight revealed in The Hotel Traveller 360 research shows that more than half (57%) of business travelers believe they can find better rates than through the company's travel program.
In addition to the range of content accessible via Rest Assured Solutions, the technology will also present travelers with recommendations based on historical booking data on the same destinations.
GBT says it plans to enhance the technology further in 2020.
The Hotel Traveller 360° study was carried out for GBT by Ipsos Public Affairs, with more than 2,000 business travelers from seven countries responding.