Accor  predicts the corporate travel boom – which has stretched the capacity of many Australian business hotels – will continue through 2013, driving up room rates in the process. Its Perth and Brisbane properties are forecasting double-digit rate increases through next year while other cities expect to raise tariffs by 4% – 8% over 2012.

In response, Accor has just launched a hybrid pricing scheme that gives contracted clients access to both dynamic and static rates, allowing them to better manage travel expenses.

“It comes at a time when corporate travellers are finding it difficult to access rooms in cities such as Perth, Brisbane and Sydney due to strong mid-week demand,” said  Director of Sales and Distribution at Accor Australia, Henrik Berglind.

“The same scenario is occurring in a number of smaller cities and regional centres, especially where mining is having a strong impact on demand.”

Peter Hook, GM Communications, Accor AP, explained:”Effectively, we have 70% of our corporate bookings on dynamic, but there are still 30% of companies who have resisted the inevitable, despite them moving to 100% dynamic for airlines.”

“For some reason people think that a room is a room is a room, irrespective of market conditions.

“So to try and have them dip their toes in the water we’ve come up with a new hybrid system that allows static for advance bookings (which suits everyone) but then dynamic for, say, the last 10 days before the stay.

“The advantage of this is that it gives procurement managers and TMCs the opportunity to read the riot act and say that they HAVE to book in advance because otherwise dynamic kicks in and – inevitably in the current climate – the price will go up.

“Cut-through so far is very good, because I think anything that can help compliance and mandating is welcomed by the industry, especially as travel budgets seem to be in the spotlight of everyone at the moment.”

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