New hotel booking sites take advantage of industry loopholes
Almost seven years since HotelTonight launched its tonight-only hotel booking app, the industry has been flooded with a host of ambitious startups looking to find similar success. At the recent PhocusWright Summit, almost half of the 24 startups presenting their ideas were related to hotel booking apps.
However, during a rapid 3-minute question round, potential investor Chris Hemmeter questioned the sustainability of one of the startup’s business models, raising concerns that it merely took advantage of industry loopholes.
In the following post, we’ll look at how some newer hotel booking apps are striving to find their own niche, weighing up whether their innovative booking models really do have long-term viability.
Splitty: Split rates and room types
Using machine learning through its “Split & Match” technology, Splitty enables travelers to get exclusive rates that are cheaper than both hotels and OTAs. For each hotel search, Splitty looks at millions of combinations of rates and room types within a hotel and then mixes and matches to find the cheapest combination.
The cost savings can work out to be pretty substantial, but is saving money worth the pain of potentially switching rooms during a stay? Splitty will almost certainly divide opinion here.
One of the main issues could arise from the fact that guests may have to check-in and check-out between room moves. Splitty’s FAQ section does state this shouldn’t happen in most cases, but this would clearly create added hassle that could put people off.
Broadly speaking, families with kids and older generations probably won’t see Splitty as an appealing cost-saving option. However, budget vacationers and younger travelers might find its proposition attractive enough to make a mid-stay room switch.