HotelTonight is set to expand its 100-day in advance booking service to more cities after reporting a strong start to its “transformative” new offering.
Chief executive Sam Shank told Travolution that the hotel booking app’s feature, currently available in 14 cities, will be rolled out in a further 25 cities – many of which in Europe.
So far, London is the only European city in which HotelTonight offers the 100-day advanced booking option.
Shank, who was in London this week to meet partners, said: “We’ve had a great start to our transformative feature, which is adding the ability of booking more than just last minute.
“The idea isn’t that novel but it’s the first move of ours in becoming something much bigger. That’s the new positioning for us; being the only travel app you need and this allows us to compete directly with the likes of Priceline and Expedia.
“We’ve said in the past that we are going to be the very best in last minute , but we can be there for everybody all the time.”
Shank said that, industry-wide, around 40% of hotel bookings are made more than a week in advance and close to 60% are made within a week of the stay.
“Maybe our distribution will look like that one day, but we are known for really great last minute hotels,” Shank added.
“Customers should be able to book when they feel most comfortable.”
Shank revealed to Travolution that the first advance HotelTonight booking was made within 12 minutes of the platform going live, before it had officially been launched. “That showed us there was a lot of demand within our customer base,” he said.
HotelTonight’s upgrades feature, which launched this summer, has also had an “amazing pick-up”, according to Shank.
He said that it helps hotels make incremental revenue by filling suites that are often booked in advance and would otherwise be left empty.
“The thing with suites is that hotels will generally sell them in advance for a long length of stay or they don’t sell them at all – or offer them as free upgrades to loyal guests.
“This is a way for them to get additional revenue – as much as 10% or 20% per night.”