Involving TMCs in the Hotel RFP Process

Employees preparing for a business trip don’t simply select whatever flight or hotel they feel desire and hop on for the ride. There is careful planning done behind-the-scenes by professionals whose role is to ensure the safe and efficient travel of individuals within a company.

Travel managers develop strategic plans and policies for all forms of corporate travel and handle the process of negotiating supplier contracts, communicating travel policy, securing travel arrangements, ensuring employee safety on the road, managing policy compliance and much more. Many travel managers also work with Travel Management Companies (TMCs), and often do this when going through the Hotel Request For Proposal (RFP) process.

GBTA, in partnership with Best Western, recently released, “Hotel RFPs-The Decision Making Process”, a study that explores the Hotel RFP process from the perspective of the travel manager. It also looks at the relationship travel managers have with TMCs while discussing best practices for working together during the hotel RFP season. The study features tips for finding the right balance when using a TMC and determining the best way to utilize these companies while still being involved as a travel manager.

75 percent of travel managers who work with TMCs have a higher level of satisfaction with the hotel RFP process as a whole. And in order to walk away satisfied, it’s important to know what you hope to get out of this exchange. Are you planning for national or international travel? What have been some trouble spots for your planning in the past? What TMC is best suited for a company of your size?

A key factor in travel manager satisfaction is the extent with which they use the TMC. Companies who use them “somewhat” are significantly happier than those who use them “a lot” or “a little”.


This could indicate that relying heavily on TMCs in this process causes travel managers to give up too much control, resulting in expectations not being met. Take a look at GBTA’s Hotel RFP template and see what modules you would most benefit from and which ones you may not need to go through every year.

It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the hotel RFP process. Figuring out the level of involvement that is most appropriate for your company is key to getting the most out of a TMC.

For more information, take a look at the “Hotel-RFP” study – available free for GBTA members.