Omni Refunding Cancellation, Attrition Fees If Space Resold

Omni Hotels in May launched a meetings contracting initiative that makes a resell clause automatic to meeting buyers and a policy of quicker sales team response to meeting requests for proposals.

Resell clauses, which give meeting planners a refund on cancellation or attrition charges if the hotel is able to sell the unused rooms that were blocked out for the meeting, became a standard offering in Omni meetings contracts, according to the company.

"We're making a permanent change in our group contracts," Omni vice president of corporate communications Caryn Kboudi said. "Typically, we would have included this, but you would have had to have asked for it."

Additionally, Omni also instituted a policy guaranteeing a response to meetings inquiries within two hours, be it by phone, e-mail, electronic RFP or through a third party, according to the company. If Omni misses that window, the planner can request a 5 percent discount off the master account.

Omni is one of several companies to add incentives designed to boost meetings demand to counter the economic downturn. Omni already has waived attrition fees for meeting contracts that were booked and completed this year. Other recent hotel company meetings offerings include Hilton Hotels Corp.'s new incentive structure for meeting planners and Dolce Hotels and Resorts discounting its customized meeting packages.

Originally published June 22, 2009