If HotelTonight is really attracting incremental demand -- travelers who otherwise would have gone home or slept on the street for the night -- then that's testament to the staying power of same-day hotel apps -- and disposable income.
With Travelocity becoming best friends with Expedia, and travelers booking apartment rentals and taxi rides on their smartphones, does the travel industry need a little more disruption?
Sam Shank, the CEO of HotelTonight, the mobile-only same-day hotel-booking app (three taps, eight seconds after you register), thinks a little more shaking up is required.
“I think it always does (need shaking up),” Shank told Press: Here on NBC . “This is an enormous market. Hotels are the largest category of e-commerce. They are the most profitable category of e-commerce. And it always needs innovation so people can get the best deal or the best value, or the most convenient access to hotel inventory.
“And the opportunity we saw was in mobile,” Shank adds. “In mobile there needs to be a new way to book a hotel and we jumped on it.”
Shank claims three-year-old HotelTonight is growing 300% year over year, and that surveys show that half its demand comes from travelers who otherwise wouldn’t have booked a hotel that night.
“We are replacing the couch, we are replacing the drive home,” Shank says. “We are replacing the ‘Can I crash at a friend’s place.'”
Of course, large companies like Priceline, its Booking.com affiliate, and startups in Europe are also looking to replace HotelTonight.
Other tidbits from the interview include:
- HotelTonight receives roughly a 20% commission from participating hotels, and
- Although the initial audience was travelers 25-35 years old, the user base has become more of a mainstream audience.
View the video below:
Subscribe to Skift Pro
Subscribe to Skift Pro to get unlimited access to stories like these ($30/month)Subscribe Now
Photo Credit: HotelTonight CEO says the travel industry ain't seen nothing yet when it comes to disruption. Press: Here on NBC
Top Travel Booking Apps: Look Who’s Winning the U.S. Now
Shifting consumer tastes in travel booking apps recently gave Hopper a boost over Booking.com and other rivals. But can the challenger brand sustain its lead?
Sean O'Neill | 11 hours ago
Travel and Fintech Are Colliding in New, Exciting Ways
Fintech is trending, and likewise for superapps in certain parts of the world. Getting into travel is too delicious to resist, but the world is not ending for incumbent travel competitors.
Dennis Schaal, Skift | 2 months ago
Airbnb Outlines 2021 Vision After Weathering $4.6 Billion Pandemic Year Loss
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said what the company's customers really want are unique stays and experiences offered by individual hosts. That means expanding Airbnb's hotel business doesn't seem to be the priority it once was. And, oh yeah, the proliferation of corporate hosts like Sonder and others, doesn't mesh with what Chesky believes travelers desire.
Dennis Schaal, Skift | 7 months ago