Changes in Group Bookings
There has been some important movement happening in the group booking industry this week: Marriott, one of the biggest hotel chains worldwide has announced that they reduce the commission on group bookings from 10% to 7%. This has created a lot of outrage and anxiousness among travel agencies.
Are group booking commission disappearing at all?
For some players in the industry, it seems that history is repeating itself. 23 years ago, the first airlines started to cut commissions on flight bookings. At that time some people in the industry predicted the end of travel agents. Today, we know that this prediction has not come true. However, it has consolidated the industry. The recent move of Marriott on reducing the group booking commissions may just be the beginning of a similar change. History tells that when one big player starts with such drastic measures, others will follow quickly. And as soon travel agents have started to accept the reduction, even more reduction will follow over the coming years. For now, the commission cut has spared the four major group booking players in the US: Experient, HelmsBricoe, ConferenceDirect and HPN Global while all other players have been affected.
Our recent participation at FITUR, a big travel conference in Madrid, has shown that big OTAs are starting to engage with the group booking market. This comes at no surprise since the group booking industry is one of the few areas in the travel industry which still works very inefficiently and is in need of innovation. Such an impact from Marriott through the reduction of group booking commissions create the space for big disruptions in how we do group bookings and meeting organizations.
The need for bringing people together will just be more important over time. The use of technologies will help us to communicate easier with people all over the world but the magic that happens when people meet in person, cannot be compensated by technology. Now, it is just a matter of new business models and ideas on how to serve the growing need of group booking. The disruption of the group booking has started.
Try TroopTravel to bring your global group together. Just select the starting locations of your group and organize their meeting with a few clicks only.