Negotiations with hotels
are revealing more flexibility on the part of the venues, according to a January survey conducted by M&C. Seventy-one percent of the 110 respondents said hotels have been either very or somewhat flexible when negotiating for group business this year. Interestingly, however, 14 percent have experienced less flexibility from the hotels.
That flexibility doesn't always take the form of lower room rates, although 55 percent of respondents did find that to be the case, with 30 percent of those scoring a reduction of 3 percent or less, and 29 percent snagging discounts of 4 to 7 percent. Perks thrown in for free or at greatly reduced rates in the past six months included meeting space (61 percent), room upgrades (50 percent) and comped rooms (48 percent).
While three-quarters of respondents attempted to eliminate either attrition or cancellation fees, only 15 percent were successful in removing both. Seventeen percent eliminated attrition fees only, while 40 percent were unsuccessful on both counts.
Eleven percent contracted a better rate or more concessions by offering a larger deposit.