Alliance Reservations Network has launched a new hotel room-booking product designed to streamline the management of group travel, including to sports events.
The new technology, called GPS Link, connects the company’s Group Productivity Solution booking platform with the central reservation system of a participating hotel chain. The product is designed to make a direct connection with the chain’s central reservation system to allow travelers access to instant reservations and confirmations. It’s also aimed at streamlining the reservation process for hotels.
The company announced that Wyndham Hotels & Resorts will be the first to integrate its reservation system with the platform throughout its 6,500 properties. Alliance Reservations Network is a part of Panorama, which is owned by Wyndham Destinations. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts spun off from Wyndham Destinations in 2018, with the two companies operating as independent entities.
“GPS Link saves event planners time and effort by streamlining the reservation process between third‐party housing companies and hotels,” said Mike Mason, general manager of Alliance Reservations Network. “Using this solution, planners will spend less time on the back and forth of making reservations. They’ll find seamless efficiency when booking accommodations for event attendees, amateur sports teams and fan groups.”
By tapping into a hotel chain’s reservation system, event organizers and hotel staff will avoid having to upload new room rosters with every potential change, allowing both sides to see any potential changes as they come in, something that should benefit those traveling to events as well, Mason said. The system is also designed to reduce human error by eliminating the need for hotel staff to input manual data entry and updates.
“This is not just an efficiency play but a real step forward in delivering a flawless reservation experience for travelers,” Mason said.
Positive Outlook for 2021
The company’s GPS system saw double-digit growth from 2017–2019, with sporting events a significant factor in that growth. Despite the pandemic, Mason said the company saw a solid 2020 when it came to hotel bookings from the sports market.
“I think families knew how important it was to get their kids active again and playing,” he said. “We saw that in real time. We had a real good third and fourth quarter and as a result we walked into the year, me personally, feeling very bullish on 2021.”
Event organizers, he said, have in many cases delayed the opening of reservations for their events as they wait to make sure those events can move forward as planned. But the demand among travelers remains strong, something that gives Alliance Reservations Network a positive outlook on the year ahead. While questions remain about how communities will allow events to proceed based on health regulations, the company is expecting strong demand ahead.
“I believe 2021 will see the youth sports travel segment far outpace any other group segment,” Mason said. “Last year, it was the only segment that performed.”