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Avid users of HotelTonight may find some value in its Look Ahead feature, but it is not a data-heavy game-changer by any means as there are no immediate actions to take, and no rate guarantee on the predictions.
HotelTonight has been all about same-day hotel bookings, but now it is taking a page from Farecast (RIP), and making some modest predictions about the following week’s hotel rates.
When users of HotelTonight’s iPhone app (iPad and Android implementation to come) search for a room in a specific city, then can tap “Look Ahead” in the bottom right corner of the app, and select a day from a calendar showing the following seven days.
HotelTonight will then indicate whether there is a conference in the city that day, whether there will be plenty of rooms available, and how much the expected discount off published rates will be. [See gallery above for examples of the Look Ahead features.]
Users can also click a Remind Me button to get an alert for the rates that will be posted at 9 a.m. on the day in question.
HotelTonight founder and CEO Sam Shank discussed the new feature and the business in a SkiftStudio interview in New York City on April 11.
Shank said Look Ahead takes into account market rates, rates from hotel partners that are already loaded into HotelTonight, a calendar of events, and last-minute booking trends, among other factors to predict what the rates will be for the upcoming week.
There is no rate guarantee for the predictions, which are slated to be live in New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego and Dallas.
And clearly HotelTonight is using the feature as a promotional tool as it will provide information on upcoming pool bar credits and other promotions.
Unlike the price predictions that Farecast and then Bing used to make up until a few days ago, HotelTonight’s Look Ahead feature never advises users to wait before booking a room. After all, HotelTonight is predominantly for tonight-only.
See the SkiftStudio interview with Sam Shank below: