17 March 2009 | Martha McKenzie-Minifie
Buyers should make the most of the slump in hotel rates by negotiating prices more frequently, according to international corporate travel firm Hogg Robinson Group (HRG).
Figures for the first nine weeks of 2009 were released yesterday following HRG's 2008 Hotel Survey, published in January.
It showed rates in all key cities in the UK and around the globe fell faster last month than in January, illustrating the "deepening effects of the current downturn".
Dublin and Zurich recorded the highest rate decrease during the period, down 21 per cent on average.
Margaret Bowler, director of global hotel relations at HRG, said in a statement the volatility in prices meant rates should be negotiated more frequently.
"This year is not about having a rate for 12 months," she said. "The global hotel industry continues to find itself in uncertain times with average rates falling and occupancy declining."
Bolwer said corporate clients needed to continually review and consolidate the number of suppliers they work with.
The last time she issued similar advice was after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US, when occupancy plummeted.