Setting Per Diems Separating Downtown from Suburban Locations
Currently each major metropolitan city has the per diem rate set based on the county where it is located. To be more effective per diem rates should be set by using specific downtown zip codes to include the business area of the city. Areas outside of downtown should be separated into another area and suburban areas separated further. This will allow the rates to be set on the business environment of each city and adjust the rates to more appropriate levels based on the area. This is currently done in Baltimore where there is a rate for the city of Baltimore and a separate and lower rate in the rest of the county. This same principle has been applied to Boston where Cambridge which is part of Middlesex County has its rates match Boston (Suffolk County) rather than the rest of Middlesex County as it has the same business environment as Boston. Savings will come from having travelers stay close to their business destination in a quality lodging facility. Currently those who cannot find accommodations at the current per diem levels are forced to stay in suburban locations, rent cars, pay for parking and gas plus the travel time factor between their business destination and where they were able to secure accommodations. With the two working models listed above the frame work exists for Smith Travel to separate the lodging rates between city and county locations thus giving more accurate rates for each location.