Sometimes the hotel industry can be a closed world, full of confusing terms, leaving no one the wiser. At last you can understand what’s going on thanks to our series of 12 buzzword videos, explaining it all! Take a look.
Text: Lois Hoyal
Opening your eyes to bid rates
Who knows what “Blind Bid Rates” mean? It turns out that it’s the “identification of a rate that a hotel is requested to provide to HRS, or the closest enough identification to the potential rate that will be quoted by the hotel,” as a portable computer summarises to a bearded HRS executive in this humorous clip.
This suited gentleman, however, knows more than he at first lets on. “So basically blind bid rate is our orientation rate for HRS to match us with corporate customers.” “Not bad for a human,” retorts the female voice from the tablet. Try to keep a straight face when you see the man’s surprised reaction!
Right on target
We next move next to the gents’, where our friendly bearded man asks the computer what “Target Rates” are. “Target rate is an identification rate that is provided to the hotel. It shows the rate the customer is looking for but it’s no guarantee of acceptance into the programme,” the computer explains.
“You mean it’s the rate wished for by the corporate customer?” he replies. It’s obviously the right answer: “The candidate gets 100 points,” the computer says. And the man can’t help but look pleased with himself.
Get with the programme
The next clip shows our favourite character standing besides numerous crates of soft drinks, with “Corporate Travel Programmes” on his mind. As ever, the computer is at hand to explain what they are. “Corporate travel programmes offer a strategic approach to travel, negotiation with all vendors, like hotels and travel supporting services.”
And as ever, our man is quick to catch on. “So it’s a programme containing all travel services negotiated by a corporate customer for its employees?” “That’s right. Smart cookie,” the tablet tells him, as he reaches for a bottle, looking pleased with himself.
An important proposal
We move over to a bedroom for the next question: what is a “Request for Proposal”? This, our computer tells us, is a hospitality industry term that “describes annual consortia or corporate rate negotiation processes between hotels and corporate customers”.
Or as our man simplifies, “it’s the annual renegotiation process between us and the corporate customer”. As the handheld device declares, “Well summarized.”
Join the club
It’s back to the office for our next entertaining clip, in which our inquisitive man asks about the “HRS Corporate Club Rate”.
This, it turns out, is the rate negotiated by HRS with handpicked hotels, which are bookable for all HRS corporate customers. “So it’s a rate negotiated by HRS with particularly attractive hotels for all corporate clients?” the man rhetorically asks. As the computer points out – this one is not that complicated.
Going to market
Our by now familiar character next gets a well-deserved sit down in an office, where he enquires about “HRS Marketplace”. This is a platform where hotel supply and corporate demands meet, the affable- sounding tablet tells him.
In other words, a matchmaker between HRS and the corporate customer, he sums up. “Why do you ask if you know better anyway?” he’s rebuffed. He doesn’t quite know how to take that one!
For It’s off to the snack area – our video star needs a quick pick-me-up. He doesn’t cease with the questioning though. This time he wants to know about “HRS Negotiated Rate”. The official computer version is “a corporate rate or a rate negotiated for any other partner valid for 12-24 months”.
His witty précis is “a specially negotiated rate between us and our corporate customer”. “You’re smarter than you look” is the backhanded compliment he receives in response.
Last not least
Sitting down again but unceasing in his questioning, our bearded HRS executive finds out about the “Last Room Available”. It turns out that a company may buy a room according to their contracted terms, even if there is only one room left in that category.
As ever he expresses it simply and clearly, “That means that a corporate customer can book up to the last room available according to the rate booked with HRS.” He receives a congratulatory “well done”.
What’s still available?
Our HRS executive now has a quick visit to the laundry while discovering about “Non Last Room Available”. This is a negotiated rate available to corporate travellers at the discretion of a hotel.
“So the negotiated rate is available until we block it due to special circumstances such as overbooking?” he asks. “I am surprised that you understood what I said,” the computer pronounces. She always manages to get the last word!
Let’s make a date
Into the lift we go. The next topic up for discussion is “Blackout Dates”, namely special dates when traveller discounts, promotions or corporate rates aren’t available, typically falling on holidays such as New Year. “So no special discounts available at Christmas, for example,” our HRS video star concludes. He’s got it in one. “I like men with brains,” the computer flatters him.
Rate it well
Next stop – the conference room, where “Tradefair Rates” are up for discussion. We learn that this is a price offered for high demand periods. Once more, our HRS man provides us with a basic summary: “these are the dates when we offer special rates to the corporate customer due to trade fairs or events.” Again, he gets it right. There’s no time for gloating though. “Can you clean my display now,” the computer orders him.
Make a bid
The final funny scene takes place in the library. The last question on the executive’s mind is “One-Bid”. This, we discover, is a new approach to shorten the Request for Proposal cycle from an average of 11-13 weeks to four weeks by providing hotels with customer specific target rates. “That means we’re able to gain new customers with just one bid,” is his accurate summary.