First it was Marriott, then Hilton, and now InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced it is cutting third-party planner commissions from 10 percent to 7 percent -- effective Jan. 1, 2019.
Contracts signed prior to that date will be eligible for 10 percent commission and commissions for IHG properties outside the United States and Canada will remain unchanged. This policy includes U.S. and Canada bookings made at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants properties, which IHG acquired in 2014, and bookings at IHG hotels in Puerto Rico are not impacted and will remain unchanged.
"This move allows us to balance the needs of our guests and owners by reinvesting the savings into programs and improvements that will benefit the guest experience," said Derek DeCross, senior vice president of global sales for IHG, in a statement.
DeCross wrote in a letter to third-party intermediaries for meetings and events, informing them of the commission cuts, that, "Understanding the complexities of the groups and meetings industry and the nature of the business being booked by our customers is an integral part of our sales strategy and foundational to what we do. As part of this, IHG has assessed its group booking commission structure and will be changing the group travel partner commission structure."
David Bruce, founder and executive director of Meeting Planners Unite said that his hope is that franchise properties buck the trend.
"InterContinental, as with Hilton, have left the door open for their franchise properties to make individualized decisions which are in the best interest of the franchise and property owner," said Bruce. "We believe that these properties, when faced with the decision to either keep the 10 percent or lose the business will choose the higher commission option."
IHG brands include InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Even Hotels, Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites, and Candlewood Suites.