HotelTonight and Expedia Bring New Variations to Hidden Hotel Deals

Skift take

It is so rare to see anything new in online travel. The added benefit of Expedia appears to be a new wrinkle, and HotelTonight’s Today’s Daily Drop is a flash-sale variant that wears off in 15 minutes. Both offer hoteliers new ways to target travelers, so they can find great deals.

Dennis Schaal, Skift

Suddenly there is a wave of innovations – or at least a lot of twists and turns on traditional practices – in the way online travel players are delivering hotel deals to consumers at hidden or opaque prices. .

New features come separately from Hotel tonight and Expedia.

HotelTonight announced on Tuesday the global launch of Today’s Daily Drop, which offers users once a day – and for just 15 minutes – a discounted hotel stay for an initially unknown amount. Users have to swipe into the app to unlock the deal, and if they don’t book it within 15 minutes, with a clock clicking toward zero, then the deal is over.

Once this window is closed, HotelTonight’s only choice is to book another regular-priced property or wait for another Daily Drop to appear for 15 minutes the following day.

HotelTonight co-founder and CEO Sam Shank called Today’s Daily Drop “our reinvention of blackout offers for a mobile age.” Traditionally, sites like Hotwire that have opaque hotel deals show price, star rating, and neighborhood, but the guest doesn’t find out the hotel’s identity until after booking. Offers are available while supplies last, and there is usually no such thing as 15 minutes to reserve or lose the offer.

To test this, Skift opened the HotelTonight app on Tuesday morning in New York City and saw Today’s Daily Drop for “$ ??? At the top of its hotel listings. Swipe to view the deal revealed a rate of $ 133 for a Tuesday night stay at the Lord & Moris property in Times Square. It supposedly sells regularly on HotelTonight for $ 215.

The deal allowed the property to offer a discounted rate without making it known to the world, as its website offered two bunk beds for $ 219 or a king bed for $ 239 (room types provided through HotelTonight are at discretion of the establishment).

The total rate through HotelTonight including taxes and fees was $ 170, which was a good deal compared to the lowest published rate, $ 209.57 including taxes and fees, for the Lord & Moris on the same night on

The HotelTonight app also allowed the addition of a second night for a base rate of $ 108.

Shank said that while the Daily Drop must be booked within 15 minutes, the stay can take place anytime within 100 days. He said around 1,000 properties participate in Today’s Daily Drop and they are personalized for the user based on previous booking patterns and preferences.

The user may feel a “mini endorphin rush” to book the deal before it wears off, Shank said.

The added benefit of Expedia

It’s rare that you find something new in online travel. Online travel agencies like Expedia and Priceline have been offering dynamic packages – vacation bookings where users can choose flights and add hotel reservations for a flat rate, hiding any discounts – for decades.

Corn The added benefit of Expedia offers a new wrinkle. Customers who book a flight, car, or vacation package can add a discounted hotel stay at any time “up to the day of your travel,” Expedia says. This is useful for travelers who might have been undecided about their trip details at the time of the initial booking, who saw their plans change, or who simply wanted to expand their travel plans by opting for a discounted offer.

Hotels and rates are only visible to Expedia customers who have previously booked a flight, car or vacation package, and hotel stays are discounted up to 43%, according to Expedia. So, like HotelTonight’s Daily Drop, hotels participating in Expedia’s Add-On Advantage have a fenced-in area to offer travelers discounted rates without revealing that they are offloading lower-priced rooms in some kind of clearance sale.

Expedia says travelers in 2017 saved $ 39.4 million by booking a flight and then adding a hotel, creating a vacation package, instead of booking the components separately.

Expedia Group CEO Mark Okerstrom spoke to Add-On Advantage on Thursday during the company’s second quarter earnings call, saying early results were “very strong.”

“We are seeing higher customer attachment rates and higher overnight stay growth than we would have seen otherwise,” Okerstrom said. “So we think it’s at least partly incremental. But it’s really difficult for us to be conclusive on this. What we do know… it is a very differentiated product.

Okerstrom argued that hoteliers see the value of the add-on in that the program is “incredibly targetable.”

“And that gives our hotels the ability, in a very specifically fenced fashion, to target customers, not out in the open, but to target customers that we know will be going to a certain place with a special offer.” , did he declare. “And so the participating hotels, which are the vast majority of them, find this to be a great program, just like they have our traditional package program.”

Hotels love these fences, or anonymity, when offering discounts, and HotelTonight and Expedia are finding new ways to deliver these deals.

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