Group travel can be difficult to coordinate unless everyone sticks to one itinerary. Otherwise, much of each day goes towards synchronizing schedules and meeting up. Thankfully, most hotels accept large parties, making group travel easier. In fact, many even encourage it with discounts and incentives.
Saving on Group Reservations
Most hotels require a reservation for at least 10 rooms when booking blocks. A block refers to a series of adjacent rooms reserved together. The more rooms added to the block, the cheaper each becomes. For instance, here at Quality Inn Sudbury, we offer one complimentary room for every 15 rooms booked in a block.
According to GroupTravel.org, the average block discount depends on a hotel’s star rating:
- Two-star hotels offer savings of 15.9%;
- Three-star hotels offer savings of 24.6%;
- Four-star hotels offer savings of 23/5%.
That said, busy seasons may reduce your potential savings. If a big convention comes to town, then the demand can offset your discount or make block bookings impossible. Thus, it’s best to speak with the front desk about any upcoming events to confirm there are no conflicts. This step is particularly important for business functions and weddings.
Reserving Your Block Online versus over the Phone
As mentioned, speaking directly with the hotel has advantages over booking online. Not only can you inquire about other happenings in the hotel, but you can also discuss extra services like transportation, dining and private facilities.
Unlike regular bookings, group contracts come with more conditions and penalties. After all, one room is easier to fill than 10, so if your group cancels last minute, the hotel suffers a substantial loss. For this reason, most contracts include the following:
- Allowable Shrinkage Clause—the percentage of rooms allowed to go unfilled;
- Attrition Rate—the percentage of rooms that must be filled;
- Re-Sell Clause—the hotel’s responsibility for filling unused rooms to avoid financial penalty.
Understandably, it’s important to get a firm commitment from all members of your party before entering into a contract. Cancellation fees on a group booking can be hefty.