Auction site unveiled, an auction website that allows users to bid, barter or buy hotel rooms, has been launched in the UK this week.

The Scotland-based company has developed the site to enable hoteliers and large hotel groups to shift distressed stock, but with a focus on “value”, according to chief executive Allan Simpson.

“Online customers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and more demanding in their search for good travel experiences,” Simpson said.

“Many people don’t simply want to book hotels on the basis of price any more.

“People want to know that a particular hotel or location offers access to interesting activities with features they find personally relevant at prices they’re willing to pay.”

Accommodation providers will be able to set the type of method used to sell the room and also reduce the price of the product as the auction proceeds.

Users will also be able to ask for particular products on the site in a Wanted Ads-style, alongside having the ability to swap products once the purchase has been made for their own products.

It is estimated that average yearly occupancy rates in the UK hotel industry are currently running at around 60-65%.

Simpson said: “If airlines can offer cut price deals for advance bookings, why shouldn’t hotels offer discounts on the same basis?  It’s not always the case that late booked rooms are cheap rooms.

“There are more than half a million minutes in the year; we don’t see why hotels should have to wait until the last one to sell their rooms.”

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