Travel managers are missing out on getting heavily reduced rates on hotels because they are not examining pricing trends in their marketplaces.
That's the message from Concur following the release of data showing the how frequently and heavily properties are discounting rates in the last week before a stay.
The company has released data which illustrates that around 20% of hotels in Europe, Middle East and Africa are booked at least 30+ days out from a stay, and the majority (more 25%) in the 15-30 days window.
Yet, across the region, during the 8-14 day period, most hotels start discounting heavily ahead of the stay date.
This can often be to the tune of a 20% fall in the starting price for a property.
Concur's managing director for UK Enterprise, Chris Baker, says travel managers are generally not holding fire to wait and see if a room rate will fall, but that they probably should.
The discounts can be at their greatest for UK properties, with discounts in the region of 10% at 4-7 days, 15% at three days out, and 25% on the same day of a stay.
French and German properties experience a similar trend.
What to do?
Concur argues that travel managers should both take advantage of the data around hotel rate trends in a given city and adopt other tactics.
For example, booking with a cancellation period gives some degree of flexibility.
Baker says such a period "typically falls between 24 and 48 hours in advance making more inventory available at lower rates".
He also suggests ensuring an individual is registered with a hotel loyalty program.
"Regardless of when you book, loyalty programs often offer upgrades not available to others," he argues.