11 August 2010 | Angeline Albert
UK government procurement agency Buying Solutions is inviting hoteliers to tender for a place on a discounted hotel booking service.
Scheduled for launch in January 2011, the Government Hotel Programme (GHP) will offer public sector workers direct access to pre-negotiated rates and terms and conditions in recommended hotels and serviced apartments in the UK and abroad.
Providers from both large chains and smaller independents are invited to tender.
A Buying Solutions spokesman said: “The GHP tender process presents an excellent opportunity to win a valuable place on our recommended list of hotels and serviced apartments, improving the prospects of winning public sector customers. I would encourage all hoteliers to take part in the procurement process.”
Since coming to power, the UK coalition government has focused on reducing travel budgets as part of its effort to cut spending and slash the public sector deficit. In May, the newly-formed Efficiency and Reform Group said it would to cut spend on civil service expenses and clamp down on first class travel.
The news follows signs that spend by UK business travellers is making a fragile recovery. According to a quarterly survey by the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) - which monitors 11 million purchases made by 32 travel management firms - transactions in air travel, rail, hotels and car hire stabilised in the final three months of December 2009. Hotel transactions for the fourth quarter in 2009 were down only 2 per cent compared with the same period in 2008.