August 17, 2018

In the hotel distribution industry, the term Closed User Group is a commonly used but often ambiguous term. Let’s clear up that ambiguity. A closed user group is an exclusive group of people who all meet certain requirements in order to be members.

Examples of a Closed User Group

  • Members of a professional or social association
  • Members of a club that paid to join
  • Employees of a specific company
  • Members of a fraternal organization (like the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks)
  • Members of a charitable organization
  • Students and employees of a University or College

In each of the above examples, members have to meet certain criteria in order to qualify for the closed user group. Members of a professional organization are usually all pursuing the same career and pay dues. Employees of a specific company have been chosen to work there.

The key to a closed user group is that some people cannot access the benefits of the group. A closed user group has some level of exclusivity.

Closed User Groups Qualify for the Best Hotel Discounts

In the hotel distribution industry, how prices are advertised can affect the price that’s allowed to be offered.

On a public site where anyone can sign up and create an account, the site has to display the retail price to its users. If they want to offer a special discounted rate, they can advertise the special rate OR the name of the hotel, but not both. This is why retail sites sometimes have promotions that say “Stay at a 5-Star Hotel in Las Vegas for $99 per night.” They can tell you the rate but will not tell you what hotel you’re booking until after you have made the reservation.

However, on a hotel booking engine site for a closed user group where members of the group login to see the rates, both the great deal and the hotel name can be shown side by side. In a closed user group, these rates are assumed to only be offered to an exclusive group and not advertised publicly. Also, when offering hotels to a closed user group, the hotel booking engine can offer hotels at whatever rate they choose—even wholesale rates.

Increase Member Retention with Travel Benefits

If you manage a closed user group, you have the opportunity to offer hotel discounts as a benefit of membership. Offering benefits can increase member retention, and it can reduce employee turnover. Learn more about offering hotel discounts as a member benefit.

Get Started with Alliance

Alliance offers highly customizable, turn-key closed user group hotel booking solutions. Our technology has matured over 20 years to what is now a flexible, robust, and powerful hotel booking platform. In addition to our technological solutions, we ensure access to the very best hotel supply and our industry relationships. This affords our customers the benefit of our economies of scale.

Alliance offers all of this at a fraction of what it would cost to build a hotel booking engine and apply for direct supplier relationships. If you’re interested, please contact us by filling out the form below.