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Individual Reservations and Group Bookings

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1 Individual Reservations and Group Bookings
Chapter 6

2 Components of The Reservation
Automated phone systems Well-designed automated phone systems meet with growing appreciation from most segments of the lodging market. Customers have come to trust the efficiencies offered. Research shows that for every $1 invested in an automated phone system, the lodging company will return better than $2.25 in direct savings. That savings comes from reduced labor, shorter call duration, and call self-service.

3 Automated Phone Systems cont’d
Importance of Training The fastest reservation is not always the best reservation. CRO’s and in-house reservation centers realize that a well trained reservationist makes significant differences in guest satisfaction and booking rates. Effective communications skills are more important than basic computer skills. Training reservations agents to be salespersons is the key to success in the new millennium.

4 Information Contained in the Reservation
Required fields System-mandated data. Required fields must be completed before computer will accept screen and move to next stage. Arrival & departure dates Number of Nights Number of Persons Number of rooms required Type of room required Corporate affiliation Price Name Quality of reservation: Guaranteed, nonguaranteed, advance deposit

5 Information Contained in the Reservation cont’d
Optional Reservation Data Certain reservation information may not be required. Examples are: Estimated time of Arrival. Critical role in overbooking. When hotel is oversold, front desk receptionists refer to incoming guests ETAs. Room is usually held for those who provided late arrival info. Special requests. These can be handicapped accessible rooms to ocean view room. Requests are not promised but front desk receptionists handle them on case by case basis. Discounts or affiliations. Corporate, AAA, AARP are handled during rate discussion earlier in process. Smoking preference. This request is so important that some systems make it a required item. Address. Requested as a matter of record or, if given enough lead time, a confirmation letter or card may be mailed.

6 Confirming the reservation
The reservationist closes conversation by furnishing the caller with a confirmation number generated by the computer Letter of confirmation or card is usually printed and mailed if the caller requests it. Page 207

7 Reservation Information Flow
Once entered into system, reservation appears electronically in many formats and printouts until date of arrival. On that day, overall responsibility changes from the reservations department to the front office staff Arrival list is printed by the property management system each night for following day’s anticipated check-ins. Majority of reservations remain undisturbed until date of arrival. Some are changed.

8 Page 215

9 Reservation Information Flow cont’d
With computerized property management systems, all reservation is stored in computer memory. Easy to call up, alterations may be easily made to the reservation. Common alterations are: changed date of arrival or length of stay, changed guest name, changed room type or discount request or cancellation

10 Guest History Databases
Increased data storage capabilities is a benefit of today’s electronic systems. Guest history improves the most basic component of guest service: recognition Guest history databases make good business sense. Hotels gain the benefits of enhanced guest loyalty and repeat visitation.

11 Reservation Coding Differences in reservations: method of payment, guests’ specific requests, commissionable to a travel agent, time of arrival, affiliation. Differences are highlighted somewhere in the reservation where a numerical coding scheme is used. Example: 11 = VIP 13 = Honeymooners

12 Convention and Tour Group Business
A major player in today's lodging industry, the term group business represents a variety of options: Major conventions & expositions (trade shows) Midsized corporate meetings & conferences Smaller incentive travel packages, tour groups & corporate retreats

13 The Group Rooms Contribution
See Chart Page 220

14 Benefits of Group Business
Group business has 3 positive characteristics: The market is large Groups provide economies of scale Group delegates spend more dollars than individual travelers Economies of scale: a term that denotes the economic benefits of mass production

15 Segments of Group Business
Tour Groups Sold as a group Guests handled as a group One sale, one registration, one service, one billing=savings Convention Groups Guests handled individually

16 Segments of Group Business cont’d
Expositions and Trade Shows Similar to conventions Average guest stay is longer with a show because displays require set up and tear down time. Reservation and front-office procedures are the same as for a convention or an individual guest.

17 Booking the Convention
Associations book conventions and expositions as many as 5 to 10 years in advance! Blanket reservation is committed by the hotel and a rate is negotiated. Blanket reservation is a commitment for a set number of rooms at a set rate for a set date. Six months to a year in advance, the hotel adjusts the room block after discussion with association.

18 Convention and Visitor Bureaus (CVBs)
Publicly funded, quasi-governmental agencies in all large and most mid-sized or small cities. Centralized entity designed to represent the city’s hospitality industries. Usually funded by local lodging or room taxes. May also receive some government funding and some membership dues.

19 CVBs cont’d Page 231

20 Negotiating Convention Rates
Convention pricing unique because organizers bargain hard to obtain the best rates they can. The hotel room is the largest expense item for the conventioneer. Agreed upon rate is dependent upon number and profitability of food and beverage functions as well as number of rooms.

21 Negotiating Convention Rates cont’d
Comp Rooms Complimentary rooms are 1 part of total package and are usually provided at a rate of 1 comp room per 50 sold. Comps are meant to be used by convention execs and staff during the dates of the convention, not for use months later as a personal vacation!

22 Rate quotes Quotes are flat or spread
Flat rate (or single rate) = all guests pay the same convention rate, usually less then the average rack rate. Spread rate (or sliding rate) = uses standard rack rate distribution already in place

23 Handling Tour Group Reservations
Hotel’s tour and travel desk take over once tour group is sold on the hotel Hotels doing large tour and travel business maintain 4 month horizons. Tour groups almost always given shares-with rooms. Block is preassigned and is usually on the same floor or in the same wing.

24 Summary Reservations are contractual agreements.
Almost all properties generate some percentage of their revenue through group business. Group room blocks may be negotiated years in advance and managed down to the day of arrival.

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