GBTA Endorses Postponement Of 2020 Hotel RFP Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

April 29, 2020

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The Global Business Travel Association, the voice of the business travel industry, has announced that it will endorse the postponement of the 2020 Hotel RFP until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on the travel industry.  This decision comes after several weeks of discussions among GBTA’s U.S and European accommodations committees, top travel buyers, suppliers, and more than 50 hotel companies representing thousands of hotels worldwide.  Along with the recommended RFP postponement, GBTA encourages hotels to roll all 2020 rates for 2021.

“GBTA usually does not get involved in the Hotel RFP process, but we made a special exception this year in light of the widespread effects of the pandemic, said GBTA CEO Scott Solombrino.  “We got involved at the request of top travel buyers and the top 50 hotel brands.  Our hope is that all parties can agree to roll rates for this year and then negotiate new rates in 2021, once we all have a better sense of the pandemic’s longer-term impact on the industry.

“With so many people furloughed or laid off, and with so much uncertainty about when travel can truly re-start, buyers and sellers have neither the resources nor the knowledge right now to develop a mutually beneficial Hotel RFP.  We hope that by pressing the pause button, we can have a more fruitful negotiation in 2021.

“We really see this as a commonsense intervention.  GBTA is uniquely positioned because of our ability to forge partnerships between buyers and suppliers,” Solombrino continued.  “Such partnerships are central to the success of the business travel industry.”

GBTA’s involvement was based not only on various conversations with both buyers and suppliers, but also on the results of a flash poll it conducted in April.  The poll of buyers found that more than 90% of travel buyers favored a postponement of the Hotel RFP process because so many key individuals had been displaced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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