Many travelers aren’t spontaneous enough to get a hotel deal in the morning and check-in later that day. It’s not all about “tonight,” and that’s why Travelzoo wants to let travelers search for date-specific hotel deals that better fit their travel plans.
Travelzoo, the New York-based deal publisher, has been building its hotel-booking and search capabilities over the past two years and claims 28 million members. The site, though, only offers a little more than 2,000 hotels, which is tiny compared with Expedia Inc. or Priceline Group brands, for example.
Speaking during the company’s first quarter earnings call on Thursday, CEO Holger Bartel said the company will begin heavily promoting hotel date-specific deal searches for new and existing members.
Bartel also said Travelzoo’s hotel bookings have more than doubled during the past year but didn’t offer specific figures, although quarterly revenue of $34.8 million is down nine percent year-over-year for the quarter.
“We added over one million new members again this quarter,” said Bartel. “…We not only want them to receive deals from us by email and social media. But we also want to help them when they are actively searching for something specific, like a hotel room on a certain date. We believe that these product enhancements will result over time in higher revenues per member.”
“…We continue to enhance our hotel platform for date-specific hotel searches. We have had this live in the U.S. for a few quarters now and have begun to communicate to our members more actively that they can find hotel deals exactly when they need them. As searches and conversion rates are increasing, we are pleased that the number of hotel bookings continues to grow…the number of people searching for hotels by date is increasing and rose particularly in the past quarter.”
Hotel date-specific deal searches are also live in the U.K. and Canada. During the call, CFO Glen Ceremony responded to a question about the direct booking push many large hotel companies have made, touting Travelzoo’s smaller size next to Expedia, Inc. or the Priceline Group as a reason why hotels would want to work with the site.
“…We still have a model where we also drive business to [hotels’] websites,” said Ceremony. “So people can book directly with them, [the direct booking push] is probably going to hurt us a little bit less than some of the larger OTAs because we don’t really see ourselves as an OTA, but rather the place who helps our members find deals and one of the major reasons why we enable the booking capabilities on our platform for hotels was in order to make it easier for our members to book on their mobile phones, that was really one of the major drivers.”