HotelTonight‘s big selling point is the idea that you can get last-minute hotel rooms at reasonable prices, but now hotels can offer even bigger discounts for customers in certain locations.
Specifically, HotelTonight is rolling out two new types of rate options. There’s the Rate Drop, where prices can drop starting at 3 p.m. for same-day reservations. And there’s the Bonus Rate, which are special offers that can become available up to seven days in advance.
The company says this could lead to prices that are up to 40 percent lower than other travel sites. Besides the individual savings, CEO Sam Shank said the new options are noteworthy for giving hotels “more precision” in how they price their rooms and who they offer those prices to.
Basically, this is the first time HotelTonight is offering location-specific pricing. In the case of a Rate Drop, since it’s a same-day booking, it probably doesn’t make much sense to offer it to users who aren’t in the same city. Conversely, a Los Angeles hotel (for instance) might want to use a Bonus Rate to tempt users in the Bay Area to take a weekend getaway, and therefore only present it in other California cities like San Francisco. (To be clear, in order to see the deal, you’d still have to show interest in visiting Los Angeles by searching for L.A. hotels in the app.)
“It’s the best thing we’ve ever done from a hotel perspective — they really are digging in,” Shank said.
And remember, until last fall, HotelTonight focused exclusively on same-day booking, so the Bonus Rate, at least, is taking advantage of the app’s newish seven-day reservation system. The company says that system continues to grow quickly, with 55 percent more advance bookings in December than in November.