Solving the highs and lows of accommodation
Orbit Direct: Solving the highs and lows of accommodation cost & availability
Peak periods for accommodation in central city locations can pose a problem for business travellers and the business they travel for. This is because they often experience significant cost fluctuations as well as availability constraints. A lack of consistency in costs can have a significant impact on business travel expenditure – especially if they have not considered the full impact of not only fluctuations in room rates, but also the costs of other travel components such as flights.
Business travellers don’t often have the luxury of choosing when and where they need to be, as this is dictated by many other factors. So how can businesses obtain a more consistent experience when it comes to peaks and lows in accommodation? And how can they be sure it delivers on other factors like value for money, location and the desired services and amenities. In this blog we look at Orbit Direct, a solution that Orbit recently launched to help solve this problem for our clients travelling to Auckland or Wellington.
Influencing factors on room rates
Room availability and customer demand have the biggest influence on hotel prices. Any number of factors can also have an impact on availability and demand - from tourist peak season, seasonal spikes, to large events or conferences. In most cities, hotels that are centrally located in a CBD will also be priced significantly higher than hotels that are further away or located in less desirable parts of the city. Many business travellers require the convenience of accommodation close to meeting locations or offices, typically located in the CBD, so this factor also places upward price pressure. Other factors that are not so obvious, but also impact room rates, is the type of rooms available, as well as the services and amenities available at the properties and how these are valued by the customer e.g. onsite gym, bars and restaurants.
Hotels can dynamically change their rates according to customer demand, which many of us have experienced when booking through retail online platforms such as Expedia and Booking.com. The hotels utilise technology such as revenue management software and algorithms to update room rates in a live environment. This software is also used to determine when customer demand will be high or low, i.e. consider accommodation spikes around upcoming large music and sporting events. This dynamic pricing explains why changes in a hotel rate can literally disappear and appear before your eyes.
Smoothing out the ride
This accommodation conundrum got Orbit thinking about what we could do to ensure our clients have surety that they are getting the best available rates as we move throughout the year with peak and low seasons, as well as access to quality providers when accommodation gets tight.
The solution? Orbit has developed an extension to its preferred hotel programme called Orbit Direct.Orbit Direct is a service which partners with selected preferred hotels across Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to provide exclusive access to a number of rooms. Because these rooms are held for Orbit, our clients can access better rates, more consistently throughout the year. Orbit Direct will be of particular benefit when accommodation availability is low. While currently only covering properties in Auckland, New Plymouth, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch, Orbit Direct will be expanding this service to cover other locations and accommodation options.