The growth in last-minute discounts offers an opportunity for hotels to change their inventory. You can sell final rooms and maximize your bookings. The portability and usability of mobile apps are shifting the behavior of travelers when doing their bookings.
Some research has found that nearly 30% of bookings are reserved through online travel agencies mobile website, while only 25% of the bookings done on the hotel’s websites are for the same day or the next day.
This trend sets up a new opportunity for hotels to sell their very last rooms, but only hotels with the right online tools will be able to take advantage of this new behavior. On the other hand, independent hotels have a limited inventory to offer under last-minute discounts.
Big hospitality companies are continuing to push aggressively into last-minute deals, some of the key differentiators of mobile last-minute apps are the secret deals offer only for this outlet, and the photo-based card capture that eliminates the activity of having to type of the credit card details.
Basic rules of supply and demand should regulate the behavior. Meanwhile, if hotels are looking to achieve a high percentage of brand loyalty, this practice will help; consumer experience at a property is a high motivator when it comes to choosing again a property. Hotels should focus on providing great in-site and social media experience in order to be labeled as “any hotel I booked for a night”.
If a hotel is looking to capitalize the mobile-specific audience, properties need to have a central reservation system capable of dynamic pricing based on geography, dates, booking window and device where the reservation is being made. Also, hotels should be able to offer incentives in real time in order to close the sale.
What can we expect from this new behavior?
Expect more innovations in the hospitality as these trends offer to maximize revenue and delete any possible waste associated with unoccupied suites or rooms. Some important chains are now offering hourly stays as a way to growth occupancy and generate revenue from rooms that might not be the favorite for the public.
In these new times, independent hotels to start using online tools and be upfront in order to capitalize the new opportunities that this mobile boom and last-minute booking is giving.