An increasing number of corporate travel buyers are resorting to tiering down, or using lower- end properties in lieu of higher-end ones. While the strategy can help reduce costs in a time of rising hotel rates, travel programs that do not mandate policies and use of preferred vendors have had a tough time convincing travelers to buy into the approach.

Trading down in hotel type has its limitations. In some cases, the location to which travelers go only has one or two distinct types of properties. More often, the company's culture isn't consistent with using lower-end hotels.

"There are many things to consider during this market of increasing rates," said Maria Chevalier, vice president of hotel relations and travel procurement services for BCD Travel. "A tier-down strategy is certainly one approach, but you have to consider your company's goals, objectives and culture, as they may not be open to procuring a lower-type property."

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