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Contracted Groups Vs. Flexible Groups
Which is best for you?

Congratulations! You’ve chosen a fabulous resort and your wedding date is confirmed. Those are two giant leaps down the aisle to your wedding day! The hard work is now behind you and it’s time for me to take over so you can focus on planning the fun stuff. However, one last decision needs to be made… how do you want to handle room reservations for your guests?

There are 2 options:

1. Flexible Groups – each room is booked completely on its own. Travel packages can include the room, flights (if booked within 10 months of travel), insurance, and tours. You are free from any responsibility because the reservation is in the guest’s name only. However, there is a real risk of price fluctuations and resorts selling out or overselling.

2. Contracted Groups – a specific number of rooms are blocked in what we call a “Group Agreement.” The Agreement is a signed contract guaranteeing the number of rooms and rates for the rooms in your block. While your guest's book and pay for their own rooms, you are the signor of the agreement and are responsible for upholding the terms of the agreement.

Group Agreements have many benefits:

*You are able to set aside the number of rooms you need to accommodate your family and friends for your wedding. This is especially important when you chose a smaller or popular resort or travel during the busier travel seasons when resorts sell out, and they often do sell out. Once all of the rooms in your block are sold, we can request more. Usually the original rate is honored for the additional rooms.

*While we have to choose specific dates to initiate the Group Agreement, your guests will be able to choose their arrival date and how many nights they’d like to stay when they book their room. They can also choose the room category and upgrades. Each guest can create a customized trip based on their needs.

*The rates in your Group Agreement are locked in so everyone pays the same price for their room. Since the group rates are contracted, there is no need for you or your guests to waste time surfing the internet for “deals.” And since everyone pays the same rate, there will be no hard feelings that often arise when one guest finds out they paid more for their room than another guest. You can be confident in the rates we secure in your Agreement.

*I generate a Group Rooming List and submit it to the resort prior to your arrival. I request that rooms are placed near each other. Resorts do their best with room placement.

*Optional items like travel insurance, flights and sightseeing tours can easily be added to independent rooms.

*Some resorts include added amenities (upgrades, events, etc) for Group Agreements. Group amenities will be clearly listed in your Group Agreement.

*Guests will need to pay (on average) only $100 per person to book their room. Final payments are usually due 65 days prior to travel. Guests can pre pay portions to help them better budget for their trip.

Things to consider:

While there are many great benefits to a Group Agreement, please remember that it is a binding contract with terms. All of the terms will be clearly included in the Agreement for you to read before you sign. You must maintain a minimum number of rooms in your Group (usually 10 rooms, sometimes less for certain resorts) to keep the group amenities. Group rates are not always the absolute cheapest. This may be because we are getting an average rate for a large number of rooms. In the travel industry, when inventory goes down, rates go up. There are deadlines to follow when canceling extra rooms and penalties if you cancel too many.  There is a deposit required for your block of rooms, this deposit will need to be paid by the couple, and then can be applied directly to their own reservation once the contract is signed. 

 

More About The Group Deposit: (for the purpose of example only)

Let’s say you do a group with 10 rooms, which will accommodate 20 guests (we always assume there will be 2 guests per room.) The Group Deposit is $1000 (10 rooms X $100 deposit per room.) The amount required may vary from resort to resort. The deposit is required at the time of signing the contract.

The amount you pay will be transferred to YOUR room reservation. As long as the terms of the agreement are met, you do not lose this deposit. You will also be guaranteed this number of rooms will be available for your guests and not sell out. If more rooms are needed along the way, we can usually get them. Of course depending on if the hotel is not yet sold out.

In Summary:

Group Agreements are a good thing when you enter into one with understanding. If you are confident with the numbers on your guest list and can guarantee the minimum number of rooms, I suggest we request a Group Agreement so you can see the actual rates and the terms. You’ll be able to look it over and ask questions before signing it.

Sample Attrition Schedule

Sample Attrition.png

What does this mean?

For this example, we will assume that we have blocked 40 rooms for 5 nights. Total of 200 room nights.

126+ days before departure, we can cancel as many, or all rooms with no penalty.

96-125 days before departure, we can release 60 room nights (or 12 rooms at 5 nights) without penalty.

95-66 days before departure, we can release 40 room nights without penalty.

So, how do you keep track of this and make sure that you do not go into penalty after these dates?

We simply put deadlines for the guests. Last day to book should be 130+ before departure. Final Payment date should be 125 days before departure.

By doing this, you will make sure that all rooms that are needed are booked before your first attrition date hits. You will then release any remaining rooms back to the resort before 125 days before departure.

This will still leave us room to add rooms or room nights after 125 days, but will keep us out of penalties!

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