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In classic metasearch style, Skyscanner Hotels, available as an iOS app, enables users to search for hotels and then to book them on sites such as Booking.com, Hotels.com, Venere, EasyToBook, Getaroom or the hotel’s website. An Android version of the app will follow soon, officials said.
The app is very clean-looking and easy to use.
Notable features include the ability to swipe through images of the hotel, apartment or condo without leaving the results page; the fact that the initial view usually shows only two or three pricing options/sites, but is optionally expandable, and maps that can toggle between the location of a specific hotel and the pricing of hotels nearby.
Why A Hotel-Only App?
So why would Skyscanner release a hotel-only app instead of combining it with its existing flight-search app as most companies habitually do?
SkyScanner CEO Gareth Williams tells Skift he views launching Skyscanner Hotels as a separate app as an experiment.
The company is going this route “basically to get data, to determine traction, to build up awareness,” Williams says. “And it’s a moving target as to whether people would prefer car hire, hotels and flights all in one. We will experiment.”
Based in Edinburgh and founded in 2001, Skyscanner offers flight, hotel and car rental search in about 30 languages, and has been trying to increase its hotel-search business.
While Skyscanner debuted the app in the U.S. and most of its other global markets today, the app launched in Australia August 19.
Skyscanner acquired Barcelona-based Fogg, a hotel-search site, in 2013, in a move to accelerate Skyscanner’s hotel business.
Was the Fogg transaction merely a talent grab?
Skyscanner says the Fogg acquisition help accelerate the launch of the hotel app.
“The acquisiton was much greater than an acqui-hire,” Williams says. “They have a fanstastic technology stack beneath their hotels’ product, and an excellent team building on top of that.”