FedRooms, the government’s official lodging program, is touting its revamped website as a tool federal travelers can use to save time and money in an age of shrinking budgets.
The new features went live in late March, according to Tim Burke, director of the Office of Travel and Transportation Services at the General Services Administration. More than 10,000 feds have already created accounts to take advantage of the site’s offerings, according to GSA, which oversees FedRooms.
The https://www.fedrooms.com/index.html">new features allow feds to:
Store profile information instead of filling out the same information for every subsequent trip.
Modify and cancel reservations through FedRooms instead of calling the hotel directly.
Book multiple rooms at different hotels in one session instead of booking them separately.
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“The value of this new governmentwide site is that it helps the federal traveler to quickly make a reservation online, modify and cancel a reservation online, plus track reservations for a full year,” Burke said.
The new website also streamlines the navigation tools, making it easier for feds to surf the website and find relevant information, according to Burke.
The site also allows federal employees to book conference and meeting spaces and has a separate tool that allows feds to sort hotels by how environmentally friendly they are.
Room rates per night at FedRooms are on average 5 percent below per diem, according to Burke.
Bookings through FedRooms also mean that there are no unexpected add-on fees and there are no early departure penalties.
The number of feds using FedRooms continues to grow. Feds booked 873,863 room nights in fiscal 2011, a 57 percent increase from 558,284 in fiscal 2010.
There are already 23 percent more bookings than at the same point in fiscal 2011, according to GSA.
FedRooms has more than 12,000 participating hotels in 3,300 cities worldwide.
More than 60 percent of properties offer complimentary breakfast to travelers that book through FedRooms, according to GSA.
Goran Gligorovic, executive vice president at Omega World Travel Inc., whose customers include the Justice and Treasury departments, said FedRooms is a useful tool because it sets standard rules on rates, cancellation policies and hotel fees across a wide number of properties.