Groupize Integrates with Concur to Expand Small Meetings Management

The meetings management technology provider Groupize has joined the Concur App Center. The technology focuses on small meetings and claims to bridge the gap between transient travel tools and heavier meetings management technology stacks. It offers three levels of functionality: multi-room booking, strategic sourcing and attendee registration.

Arrangers can book meetings with up to nine sleeping rooms in the app, which pulls in preferred properties and rates directly, for now, from Travelport. Sabre currently does not accommodate multi-room bookings, though Groupize has talked to the provider about the opportunity.

For larger programs, the app allows arrangers to negotiate with multiple properties for various meeting elements—including sleeping rooms, meeting spaces, food and beverage, audiovisual and special requests—via an email-based bids system that tracks all stages of the process and facilitates internal corporate approvals for budget and contract authorization.

See more here.

Domestic Business Travel Leads Positive 2016 Travel Results

According to the US Travel Association’s latest Travel Trends Index, travel to and within the US in 2016 grew 2.4 percent from December 2015. This was led by renewed strength in the domestic business travel sector.

Following a strong showing in November’s data for domestic business, the sector’s immediate growth declined slightly in December 2016. However, the forecast in the Leading Travel Index indicates that domestic business travel’s growth rate will rebound, and catch up to that of domestic leisure travel – the sector that has typically led US travel growth.

The index includes both current travel, measured the number of person-trips involving hotel stays and/or flights each month, and a future travel predictions, based on the likely average pace and direction of business and leisure travel, both domestic and international inbound.
See more from BTN’s Redline News.


Communal Rooms Coming to Marriott’s Element Hotels

Communal guest rooms are coming to the Marriott hotels. A pilot program at the company’s eco-conscious, extended-stay Element properties will give guests a new option that combines private bedrooms with a shared common area. Both business and leisure travelers stand to benefit.

Element’s bold communal guest room design will involve a shared kitchen, dining and lounge space surrounded by four guest rooms. For travelers seeking more unique lodging options, the appeal stems from an increase in not only available space, but also flexibility of use. The move addresses a growing consumer demand for unique accommodations. Marriott’s target market for communal room offerings spans a variety of customer bases, including families traveling together, athletic teams attending competitions, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and business travelers in need of private collaborative space. Marriott has not yet announced when the communal guest room inventory will debut, but 2017 is shaping up to be a significant year for the expanding Element brand.

Take a look for more here.

marriott element communal guest rooms

Photo courtesy of Marriott International

Steady Growth Is Expected for US Hotels in ‘17 and ‘18

According to STR and Tourism Economics’ forecast, the US hotel industry is projected to see slower but steady growth through 2018.

For the total year 2017, the industry is predicted to report a 0.3% decrease in occupancy to 65.3%, a 2.8% rise in average daily rate to $127.34 and a 2.5% increase in revenue per available room to $83.20. This is below the historic RevPAR growth rate of more than 3.0% for each year from 2010 to 2016. This year independent hotels are projected to see the largest increases in both ADR and RevPAR.

For 2018, US hotels are likely to report a 0.2% decrease in occupancy to 65.2% but increases in ADR (rising 2.8%) and RevPAR (increasing 2.6%). All seven Chain Scale segments are expected to see a decrease in occupancy.

“Demand has outpaced supply in terms of growth for seven consecutive years, but we expect that to change in 2017 and continue in 2018,” said Amanda Hite, STR’s president and CEO. “In an environment where occupancy is flat or slightly declining, ADR is the lone driver of RevPAR, which is why we expect RevPAR growth in 2017 and 2018 to be slower than the industry average of the past 30 years.”

See Business Travel Executive’s article here.