The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is in favor of postponing the hotel request-for-proposal (RFP) process for corporate travel bids until 2021 due to the coronavirus, it said Tuesday (May 5) in a press release.
GBTA CEO Scott Solombrino said that while the organization doesn’t usually get involved in the RFP process, it decided to do so now after requests from top travel buyers and hotel brands. Its position and ability to broker relations between partners and suppliers also helped.
Solombrino said the GBTA’s hope is that all hotels will roll their 2020 rates until next year.
The amount of people furloughed or laid off has necessitated a second look at the RFP process, Solombrino said, as many buyers and sellers lack the resources to properly go through with it like normal.
“We hope that by pressing the pause button, we can have a more fruitful negotiation in 2021,” he said, according to the press release.
The release also stated that GBTA conducted a poll in April that found over 90 percent of travel buyers wanted to postpone the RFP process because of the mass displacement and turmoil of the pandemic.
Some in the hotel and travel industries were roiled by GBTA’s opinion, noting that GBTA isn’t an advisory organization and the RFP process doesn’t typically start until later in the summer, around August to September. By then, the situation could change, opponents noted.
The travel industry has taken a major hit from the pandemic as people have been reducing their travel to avoid spreading or catching the virus.
Recently, Marriott, which has had to shutter 25 percent of its locations due to the pandemic, has been tapping into credit and trying to save up money to weather the economic storm. It has taken hundreds of millions of dollars from co-branded finance companies JPMorgan Chase and American Express. Marriott is also digging into the bond market.