Posts Tagged "Hotels"

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FedRooms

»Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in Business Practices, Hotels | 0 comments

FedRooms, formerly known as the Federal Premiere Lodging Program (FPLP), is the official Federal Government lodging program that will allow for substantial savings.  The FedRooms rate in comparison to “government” rates will always be at lower cost to matching prices, which creates a savings for your agency. The Government negotiates FedRooms rates while “government” rates are set by the vendor and are arbitrary. Other benefits of staying at a FedRooms hotel are the 4 p.m. (or later) day of arrival cancellation policy, no early departure fees or any other hidden fees.  Hotels that are approved by FEMA as fire safe hotels offer the Fedrooms rate. Book the FedRooms rate using either your E-Gov System, your travel management center (TMC) or online...

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Some Thoughts On The GSA Hotel System and Airline Flights

»Posted by on Jan 7, 2015 in Airlines, Hotels | 0 comments

First, the material does not note that some chains permit Government workers on personal travel to take advantage of Government rates. This is not so of all chains and you cannot use a Government credit card for such purposes. I suspect, that it works well for those chains that offer it as it creates a kind of brand loyalty and Government travelers are free to select the hotel they wish to use on Government travel. Second, the article does not note that per diem for a CONUS city is broken into two parts. The first part is for lodging, the second is for meals and incidentals. Government workers on CONUS travel, under GSA rules, receive up to the Government rate for hotels in an area (with some exceptions). However, that part of the per diem is limited by what the...

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Controlling Leakage in a Managed Travel Program

»Posted by on Dec 26, 2014 in Travel Management Centers, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

In order to manage business travel efficiently and maintain conformance with policy regulations, companies issue travel procedures that govern travel planning and cost reporting.  Owing to the many available travel options, the travel procedures provide detailed instructions for compliance. When making travel arrangements, employees are obligated to give primary consideration to the best interests of the company and any sponsors. The company expects employees to apply good judgment and professional integrity when planning business travel, in accordance with a code of ethics and to make travel plans at the lowest available cost. However, all corporate preferred travel programs experience some leakage at one point or another.   The loss of transactions through...

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Corporatizing or Improving TDY Government Travel Solicitation Processes

»Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Contracting for Travel Services, Hotels | 0 comments

Each year, it is my responsibility to solicit all four thousand plus of our hotels for each agency or third party we have relationships with, who have government lodging contracts. The rates must be at or below per diem, must be contracted January 1 through December 31 of program year, are preferably both commissionable and last room available. Also, the hotels offer their own non-contracted government rate that may or may not be at per diem. Although these are pretty simple requirements and standard for all participating properties, they do have challenges that corporatization may improve. First, per diems are issued in early August to be effective October of that year through September of the following year. Since we currently contract January to December, all...

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Data Warehousing Challenges

»Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Business Intel/Data Mining | 0 comments

In reading the Section 4B curriculum, I began to think on the difficulties that TRX, Inc. will experience in trying to gather and consolidate this information.  As a global sales staff member with a major chain (owned, managed, and franchised hotels), I encounter challenges with gathering some of this information for our individual clients for just our hotels.  TRX, Inc. will be trying to reconcile the information from potentially hundreds or thousands of sources. In the hotel realm, the government traveler does not book one set rate category.  As a hotel company, we have a difficult time in tracking which consumed room nights are government travelers as they may have booked with a government contracted travel entity, but the rate may not have been designated...

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Central Contracting Registration

»Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Business Intel/Data Mining, Business Practices, Contracting for Travel Services, Hotels, Payment Methods, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

On October 1, 2003 in order for any supplier to be awarded federal government contract it became necessary to be registered on the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) Database.  When this directive was mandated, our national sales team took the initiative to educate our hotel community and assisted them in completing this registration process. Registration on the CCR needs to occur once per year to maintain an active status.  Because having an active CCR standing is now and “absolute” in terms of doing business with the federal government, we have consistently observed that more contracting officers, meeting planners, third parties and other business drivers are insisting on having this information upfront in the solicitation process. Recently, we have...

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The Sabre Global Distribution System within our e-Travel System

»Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Airlines, Business Practices, Electronic Travel Systems, Global Distribution Systems | 0 comments

Our E Travel System uses the Sabre Global Distribution System as an integral part of the overall travel system. The GDS is a legacy data based system that is used by all travel suppliers such as airlines, hotels and rental car vendors to automatically book travel. The GDS is separate from the commercial internet booking sites, although some booking sites will use GDS information to offer information to their users and to assist with bookings. Not all airlines and hotels use a Global Distribution System as the GDS charges travel vendors to display inventories. If a supplier uses a GDS, it is the airline carrier, hotel, or rental car company’s responsibility to keep the GDS updated with current information. In some instances some small airlines do not use the GDS...

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FedRooms

»Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in Business Practices, Electronic Travel Systems, Hotels | 0 comments

FedRooms is a government-sponsored lodging program designed for the federal traveler.  FedRooms negotiates hotel rates for those areas where government travelers need to stay while performing official government business.  This program provides a substantial savings to the government because rates are at or below per diem, no hidden costs or penalties are associated to the rate, travelers are not charged for early check-out, and travelers can cancel a reservation until 4:00 pm on the day of arrival without incurring a penalty. For the convenience of travelers, FedRooms offers a website which offers helpful information.  There’s a convenient search page for travelers to easily find a FedRooms hotel.  This site also offers an overview of the FedRooms...

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Travel Transaction Fees

»Posted by on Aug 23, 2014 in Contracting for Travel Services, Electronic Travel Systems, Hotels, Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

Domestic or international, request assistance or book on-line are all factors of how much a traveler will be charged for their government travel reservations. Government travelers are still struggling with the different fees that appear on their travel documents. First there are the Travel Management (TMC) fees. The TMC fee is charged at the time the ticket is issued for airfare and when the hotel reservation is booked. The rate of the fee is based upon the service that is provided to the traveler. The TMC fee is significantly lower if the traveler books reservations on-line rather than calling an agent for traditional service. Also the fee for international reservations is higher when the traveler requests assistance due to the complexity of the travel. The...

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The Evolution of Government Travel

»Posted by on Aug 22, 2014 in Airlines, Electronic Travel Systems, History and Overview, Payment Methods, Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

Twenty years ago I was assigned to the office that was responsible for travel processing.  In 1989 very few employees had computers and most of the work continued to be done as it had been for decades – by paper.   At that time a traveler would work with their secretary to complete a multi-carbon copy travel authorization.  The per diem rates were looked up in a GSA published book and the secretary would complete the estimates after calling the airline and hotel to make reservations.  Once the paper authorization or voucher was completed it was sent to several people for signature and eventually ended up in the Finance Office. Once the Finance Office received the documents, a technician verified the per diem rates and quarter day calculations for first and...

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E-Verify and the Travel Industry

»Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Business Practices, Contracting for Travel Services, Electronic Travel Systems, Global Distribution Systems, Hotels, Travel Management Centers, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

On November 14, 2008, the General Services Administration (GSA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued a final rule (73 FR 67651), amending 48 CFR Parts 2, 22, and 52, to change the rules on Employment Eligibility Verification.  These new rules require Government contractors to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government to use the Federal E-Verify system to confirm the immigration status of employees working on Government contracts performed within the United States.  Prior to the effective date of the new regulation, January 15, 2009, the use of the E-Verify system was voluntary. Government contractors, as well as businesses in general, have long been obligated to check...

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The Government Hotel Program

»Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Business Practices, Contracting for Travel Services, Hotels, Payment Methods | 0 comments

The government has implemented an excellent hotel program providing great benefits to its agencies while lowering cost to provide the best services to its travelers. Hotels have contracted with the government per diem rates, different types of properties, special amenities and charge cards, special negotiation rates and specialized lodging programs. The travelers have access to great hotels, meeting their needs and beyond. In addition to the great hotel services and amenities the travelers are provided with a convenient payment charge card and/or direct billing to their federal agency. This helps eliminate out of pocket payment.  This is a great advantage as many other public or private companies fail to provide these services to its employees.  For example, I...

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Hotels

»Posted by on Dec 26, 2013 in Hotels | 0 comments

The hotel industry has really changed in the past 5 years by adding 250 thread-counts sheets, White duvet covers, complimentary Breakfast buffet, evening cocktails with appetizers, brand name shampoos, conditioners and lotions. I find that hotels are more aware of environmental concerns and the clients are seeking out these hotels for their stays. I was able to do a back of the house tour at a large chain hotel and I was surprised at how much detergent and water is used daily in the laundry to accommodate the linens at this property. A simple act of not having the sheets and towels changed everyday saves thousands of gallons of water a day. The Master List of FEMA compliant hotels makes it easier to keep our clients in a safe property. I feel confident using...

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Jiminy Cricket Had It Right

»Posted by on Mar 20, 2013 in Business Practices, Contracting for Travel Services, History and Overview | 0 comments

As Director of National Sales for Carlson Hotels Worldwide, on an annual basis I am required to comply with our company’s policies on business ethics.  Our leadership team firmly believes that fostering strong and consistent standards here is paramount in terms of creating a successful and trusting culture based on accountability. I agree with this philosophy.  Furthermore, it reminds me of something one of my mentors taught me about business practice in general – He said, “How you get there is just as important as getting there.”  That concept left a deep impression on me, so on certain occasions I would find myself revisiting that same mentor when faced with difficult decisions.  Consequently, he would always tell me the same thing, “I advise...

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There’s No Such Thing as a Magic Bullet

»Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Contracting for Travel Services, Global Distribution Systems, Hotels | 0 comments

Open most newspapers and you will probably find that many experts are predicting a bleak economic forecast for 2009 and financial uncertainty.  Due to inevitable declining market conditions, several hotels are now refocusing their efforts and targeting the government market as a primary sales initiative for the upcoming fiscal year. As a national sales director, one of my primary functions is to manage global RFPs for government key accounts on behalf of a hotel community compromised over 1,000 hotels.  Recently, I was in rigorous task of managing RFP negotiations when it occurred to me that hotels in general seemed to be putting too much of an emphasis on program history. In my opinion, this rationale strongly reinforces that educating hotels in terms of how...

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Travel

»Posted by on Oct 12, 2012 in History and Overview | 0 comments

This will be a interesting course for me to complete.  I am already amazed that $2.5 billion dollars is spent on official travel a year, and more I’m sure with fares changing daily.  This makes us the largest purchaser of travel in the world. It is my hope that we will look at ways to curtail some of the spending, with so much new and improved technology available now this should be possible.  There are ways of live broadcasting for training classes, conference calls, etc.  I feel a majority of this training could be on line, which I am a big supporter of that.  I don’t think there is anything better than on-line courses, and especially when companies are trying to cut costs. A lot of costs can also be cut, with just encouraging travelers...

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