For years, planners have scratched their heads wondering why hotels could not cross-check an electronic list of their meeting attendees against the hotel's reservation system. Was it really rocket science to do so? Well, here's a new tool that association planners will welcome.
Hilton Hotels has just rolled out a new group-reservation reconciliation tool at its 30 top convention hotels. This free tool, called Group Reservations Identification Program (GRIP), allows the planner's electronic registration list to interface with the hotel's reservation system. According to the chain, it takes 15 minutes to generate a comparison of the two that notes any bookings outside the block — and accurately establishes how many rooms the meeting brings to the property.
Hilton credits all of the room nights at the contracted hotel driven by a meeting — regardless of how they were booked, says Larry Luteran, vice president, group sales and industry relations. But planners should negotiate in theat what rate the “circumvented rooms” will be credited, he advises.
Hilton beta-tested GRIP at five properties in 2003, and officially introduced the program in January. The tool will be available at the remaining 25 hotels by mid-February, he says.