Hyatt Hotels has launched a website that offers small and
medium-sized businesses discounts and travel management tools for bookings at Hyatt.com
and Hyatt reservation centers.
Called Hyatt Leverage, the program is geared toward
companies with less than 1,000 employees and offers discounts ranging from 5%
to 15%, said Gus Vonderheide, vice president of global sales.
While the program doesn't have a commission element for
travel professionals, Vonderheide said the goal is not about trying to drive
business away from travel management companies. Instead, he said, it is about
targeting small businesses that rely on a mix of tools, including online travel
"We already have relationships and preferred agreements
with the Fortune 500," he said. "This is for what I call the Gus
Vonderheide Associates -- organizations with a couple hundred employees, about
25 of whom are traveling. All we're trying to do is capture them and say we can
make this easy for you and provide a nice discount."
He said Hyatt remains committed to agency partnerships, noting
it recently launched a program for luxury agents that provides extra perks to
top-selling professionals. Additionally, it hasn't made any moves to follow
Marriott, Hilton and IHG in cutting commissions on group bookings.
Under the Hyatt Leverage program, discounts are set by the
individual properties, and therefore vary based on demand and availability.
Anyone can sign up through the Hyatt Leverage website
to obtain a code that can then be shared with all employees, Vonderheide said.
When employees book direct using the code, they get discounts and Hyatt loyalty
program credits while the company's travel administrator can track their
bookings and on-property spending through a dashboard.