The IHG commission cut, from 10 percent to 7 percent, is the third such action in recent months affecting independent meeting planners and third parties.
InterContinental Hotels Group joins Marriott International’s decision to cut commissions for group bookings in the U.S. and Canada beginning March 31, with Hilton following suit beginning Oct. 1. IHG’s lower rate will go into effect Jan. 1, 2019. Ever since Marriott sent a letter to third-party planners announcing the shift on Jan. 24, there’s been much debate about what it means for the industry. Kemp Gallineau, CEO of Groups360, shared his view with Prevue in early February that the announcement isn’t necessarily a bad thing and could actually increase efficiency between planners and hotels.
On the other side are independent hotel companies, which are showing their appreciation by actually raising commission rates for third-party planners. One of the first to do so was Preferred Hotels & Resorts, with the launch of its 60-day “We Appreciate You” promotion in February, offering an 11 percent commission.
In April, Dream Hotel Group announced its new rate offering a 12 percent commission through year’s end for qualified meetings booked and actualized in 2018. Same goes for Warwick Hotels and Resorts, which is offering an extra 5 percent commission for all meeting planners booking new business. Westgate Resorts announced earlier this month that it will maintain its standard 10 percent commission rate and even raise it to 12 percent during seasonal promotions.
While Hyatt has yet to announce a decision about whether or not it plans to change third-party planner commissions, Disney, MGM Resorts International and Wyndham Hotel Group have announced that they plan to keep their commissions the intact for the immediate future. RLH Corporation, meanwhile, is offering a jump from 10 percent to 11 percent in commissions on all meetings and events booked by Labor Day this year and take place by December 31st, 2019.
*edited on 5/18/18 and again on 5/24/18 by Johnalee Johnston to reflect Disney’s decision to keep planner commissions the same and RLH Corporation’s seasonal commission increase.