BCD Travel unveils innovative approach to hotel programs, bringing more dynamic, data-driven solutio
BCD Travel unveils innovative approach to hotel programs, bringing more dynamic, data-driven solutions to clients with new division
In response to changing industry dynamics, leading global travel management company BCD Travel today unveiled a dramatically new approach to managing hotel programs—Stay by BCD Travel™. The company has created a dedicated global hotel division, headed by April Bridgeman, recently appointed BCD’s Senior Vice President, Hotel Solutions.
The global hotel division provides significant benefits to BCD’s current and future clients by accelerating their ability to innovate within the corporate travel landscape. Comprised of newly created positions and redirected staff from BCD and its consultancy practice, Advito, the hotel division offers spend management, content aggregation, shopping and booking, virtual payment and digital invoice management, price assurance, hotel rate availability management, analytics, awareness and adoption campaigns, merchandising, and the use of frequently updated market-level rate targets.
Bridgeman will continue to lead Advito, allowing her to offer significant value to clients by increasing strategic alignment and providing a comprehensive view of spend across travel categories, including hotel, air, rail, car and ground, among others. She now reports to Global Chief Operating Officer and Chief Commercial Officer Mike Janssen.
“Hotels are the most critical battleground for customers,” said Janssen. “They represent the second largest spend category in travel and are increasingly the measure by which programs succeed or fail, whether we’re talking about savings or satisfaction. Our innovative, data-driven hotel approach helps travel and procurement managers win this battle.”
BCD is going beyond the industry’s emphasis on resource-draining seasonal sourcing. It will focus on spend management strategies such as merchandising, market-level rate targets and price assurance. Its unique approach uses digital marketing and merchandising to build traveler awareness of the hotel program, increase program adoption and influence buying decisions—yielding more value with less effort.
“Great hotel programs are nothing if you don’t drive adoption,” said Bridgeman. “When you focus on bringing people into the program and invest effort into spend management strategies beyond sourcing, you’ll achieve materially better results than traditional approaches. It’s time to shift resources to strategies proven to add more value.”
For example, one of BCD’s clients, a global medical technology company, reduced its number of negotiated markets by 55%—instead setting hotel target rates as spending guidelines for travelers. Through that switch alone, they achieved 4.9% incremental savings in those non-program markets. Another client, a well-known food manufacturer, drove up hotel attachment by 139% year over year through a carefully calculated awareness and adoption campaign.
BCD’s more powerful approach to hotels is fueled by multi-year sales success and a competitive growth plan that has allowed the company to reinvest over 40% of earnings back into technology and infrastructure. That investment also resulted in significant growth of BCD’s digital platforms, including DecisionSource®, an analytics and intelligence platform for travel managers, TripSource®, a powerful trip management, traveler engagement and booking platform, and SolutionSource®, a marketplace of authorized technology solutions that extend the corporate travel program.
Stay by BCD Travel delivers a profound impact on hotel programs through two core strategies:
- Savings beyond Sourcing
Sourcing has always been the primary strategy to manage hotel category spend. But the incremental savings achieved through sourcing are shrinking, and the value derived is not commensurate with the effort. In addition, data indicate that most companies source hotels in markets where they don’t have leverage, include too many hotels in the program to maximize negotiation results and include the same properties in their program year after year. The result: a non-competitive negotiating position. BCD recommends significant reductions in negotiated hotels for most clients, and focuses on other spend management strategies that yield more value and more savings with less effort. Those strategies typically result in programs that travelers prefer, too.
Only BCD brings advanced digital marketing strategies, consumer behavior expertise and an award-winning digital experience to hotel programs. Stay by BCD Travel drives adoption, builds consumer confidence, influences buying decisions and wins loyal advocates for the hotel program. BCD’s vast hotel content inventory of over 1.4M unique properties comes from a variety of sources, including traditional global distribution systems, hotel booking agencies and aggregators. In addition to the many property options, travelers see a range of rates, thus supporting their confidence in the program. BCD also integrates their aggregated content within the platforms of all major online booking tools, providing travelers access to the same booking options, regardless of the booking channel they use—resulting in a better experience and increased servicing efficiency.