Group rates will not be greater than the lowest rate offered to the guests or Groups in the Hotel. If lower internet or other promotional rates are offered by the Hotel, before the cut-off date, the Hotel will take immediate action to remove the lower rates from all available sources.
One of the phone calls/emails that is hard for all meeting planners to answer is when your attendees ask why they got a lower internet rate at your contracted hotel. How do you answer that and what can you do? It is almost impossible to prevent this from happening in the internet age that we are in but your hotel contract is the legal document that should protect you (and your reputation) from this type of situation. The Lowest Group Rate Clause above is a very important hotel contractual clause that protects you from the lower internet rates prior to your cutoff date that hotel’s use to sell their remaining inventory.
–Most Hotels sell a majority their “internet inventory” within a seven day window of arrival so most of the time this should not affect you unless you have attendees that book within a seven day window of arrival.
–You have to allow the hotel to sell their remaining inventory any way that they can after your group cutoff date but also be aware that attendees that book hotel rooms online have to pay their full room and tax upfront with no cancellation or change options available.
–Attendees that book their rooms online are typically the first ones to get walked in a sold out situation and they do not get the same “perks” that your group attendees would receive.
–It is not fair for you to think that the Hotel should give ALL of your attendees that lower internet rate that one or two people received. You need to be reasonable but the hotel should work with you on removing that lower rate from the internet immediately.
People are going to book around the block, it’s going to happen. So one of the best ways to protect your group pickup numbers and possibly your concessions (if they are based upon group pickup) is to make sure to give the hotel your group registration list prior to arrival so that they can match it with the hotel’s inhouse list during your peak dates to make sure that you get room night credit for ALL attendees that are staying in the hotel regardless of the rate that they paid.