FedRooms Adoption

» Posted by on Jun 27, 2013 in Hotels | 0 comments

Before E-Gov Travel when I went on a trip the first thing I would do is to decide on what hotel I wanted to stay in.  I did this in various ways such as internet searches, past experiences or referrals.  My normal destination is to DC so I would try to find a hotel that was either close to the location I was traveling to or at least close to a metro stop.  Once a decision was made, I called the hotel and asked for the Government rate, which many times exceeded per diem.  Even after calling several hotels there were times I could not find any hotels that offered a rate at or below per diem and I ended up having to request reimbursement for actual expenses on my lodging.

When our agency moved to a eTS and required that we book Fedrooms hotels when possible, many travelers felt like their choices would be limited and at that time they were right.  Although many travelers continued to book rooms directly with the hotel out of habit, many were discouraged when they used the eTS to find a limited number of choices and glitches with the eTS that caused not all inventory to be displayed.

As the number of hotels that participate in the Fedrooms program increased and travelers become educated as to the benefits of the program, Fedrooms adoption increased.  GSA has done a considerable amount of marketing to promote the program to federal travelers but the best marketing is word of mouth.  In addition to guaranteeing the rates to be at or below per diem and being FEMA and ADA compliant, hotels must have at least a two star Mobil Travel Guide or AAA rating, accept government credit cards, have a 4:00PM or later cancellation policy on the day of arrival and may have last room availability and some other amenities.   As travelers have good experiences with the program, more travelers have begun to use Fedrooms.  The eTS systems have also improved over the years to display Fedrooms properties first and improved the search engines to properly display Fedrooms inventory and listing of amenities.  ETS search features help travelers to find the right hotel in the right location with the amenities they desire.

With the economy affecting tourism, I feel more and more hotels will want to attract government travelers and join the Fedrooms program.  And as travel budgets tighten up, more agencies will require that their travelers give first consideration to a Fedrooms property, which will be more plentiful, and eliminate paying for hotels that charge over per diem.  With increased participation from both the hotels and the travelers, I believe the program will continue to grow and become as well known for hotels as the City Pair program is for airfare.

by Diana Bonnell

Disclaimer: The contents of this message are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.  Use of this equipment is consistent with the agency’s policy governing limited personal use.

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