At Tulane, Campus Services oversees relationships with over 50 local hotels and B&Bs to provide discounted rates that are commissionable back to the university. This is separate from our mandated business travel contracts; our program is strictly for guest travel, like for visiting parents, prospective families, guests coming in for Homecoming or athletic events, etc.
I manage these contracts in partnership with Campus Travel Management, a company founded by our travel consultant Larry Handel. Partner hotels pay a yearly fee to be a part of this program. Larry's team manages the collection of fees and rate loading, builds out and maintains the booking website (which you can see here), and collects commission. They are also always on call in case a guest has any issue with booking or canceling a room.
On my side, I make contacts at local hotels, conduct site visits, and negotiate the discounted rate. I also plan hotel tours for the key travel arrangers here on campus so that they can see the properties and meet the sales staff. Additionally, we hold a Travel Expo every year on campus and invite our hotel, airline, and car rental partners to set up like a kind of trade show to meet with our staff.
I allocate the commission we receive on the room nights. Campus Travel sends us a check quarterly, and we return about 50% of the commission back to the department that originated the travel (Alumni Association for reunion visitors, Parent Programs for New Student Orientation visitors, etc.).
Larry is truly a partner in this with us, and I more than recommend his services to anyone looking to develop similar relationships. There is no monetary cost to the university - in fact, we bring in about $40,000 in commissions every year - and it just takes some man power to start building relationships with hotels.
Please feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!