Benchmark Hospitality International's annual survey of its 30
hotels, resorts and conference centers reported a surprising trend:
increased requests for double-occupancy room blocks.
corporate groups insist on double occupancy because it is part of their
culture," notes Julie Berry, the director of sales and marketing for
Benchmark's Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Itasca, Ill. "But on the
association side, it's absolutely because of the economy."
released by Egencia, the business travel division of Expedia, supports
this trend. Last November, 5 percent of corporate travel managers said
they were asking employees to bunk together. By this April, that
percentage had doubled.
The thought of a roommate is enough to
make most business travelers blanch. For associates in close quarters,
it's important to have preemptive communication about compatibility,
schedules and habits, says Jacqueline Whitmore, a double-occupancy
survivor and author of Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success
One other issue to address is money, even if
travelers are on expense accounts. Whitmore says, in her experience,
hotels can print separate bills for roommates, who sign for incidental
expenses under their own names. Planners should discuss billing issues
in advance and be sure the property is prepared to split room charges
Christina Beck, events manager for the San
Francisco-based Social Venture Network, which hosts two annual
conferences, adds that room sharing works best if attendees have the
opportunity to select their own roommates.