A start-up business that has introduced ‘micro-stays’ of as little as three hours is hoping to crack the UK market in 2017 following its Spanish experiment.
ByHours founder and former hotelier Guillermo Gaspart claims that the firm’s model has helped Spanish hoteliers increase their annual revenues by up to €100,000 and up revenue per available room (RevPAR) by between €2 and €4 while some Barcelona-based hotels with 24-hour booking windows, he said, have seen revenues increase by €150,000 a year.
He says selling rooms for shorter hours – in slots of three, six or 12-hour slots – and paying comparative prices is “key for the future health of the industry”, adding that rooms could be used for a nap while visiting relatives in hospital, getting ready for a night out, or a quiet comfortable location with Wi-Fi access to get some work done.
Hoteliers can set their own prices, allocate micro-slots as rooms become available and design check-in times to suit their needs.
Hotels in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Belfast are already signed up, but Gaspart is aiming for UK expansion in the coming year.
Gaspart, who is targeting both large chains and boutique brands in Britain’s big cities and smaller towns, said: “There is an exciting gap in the hotelier market for short term room use which we are seeing work hard and drive impressive revenue returns in Spain. Consumers are increasingly demanding clever solutions which will make their lives more comfortable and efficient – qualities epitomised in beautiful hotel rooms with convenient services, located in key city and transportation hubs.
“The demand is there and UK hoteliers have a massive opportunity to boost their occupancy when thinking more widely than just the traditional booking model. It is crucial that hoteliers do things differently to suit the needs of the modern consumer. It is no use resting on your laurels and breathing a sigh of relief for the Airbnb 90 day limit, there will be new Airbnb propositions and other smart services. To survive, hotels must be creative and resourceful with what they have – useful and comfortable rooms in great locations.”