HT Escape is a simpler way to book a quick driving-distance getaway. While you could always manually view rates at cities nearby, the new feature will curate hotels from a selection of cities that are both nearby and offering low upcoming prices.
For example, accessing the getaway tab while I was in New York City showed me available hotels this weekend in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and The Hamptons, all on one page. Previously users would have had to individually search for hotels in each of those locations.
The second feature, GeoRates, will allow hotels to offer additional discounts for stays that are booked while the user is in a particular location. For example a user could see discounted rates if they open the app while inside an airport, train station, or cities outside the hotel’s location.
These are all locations where a hotel is especially interested in tempting you to book a stay, as they know you are either en route or contemplating a last-minute visit to their city. Or, an alternative scenario is that a hotel could need to fill a room ASAP, and offer pricing discounts to users browsing the app from a location close to the hotel.
While the company has previously offered location-based “bonus rates” designed to tempt a last-minute getaway from a nearby city, this announcement expands the location types to include other booking hotspots.
When HotelTonight first launched, many questioned just how big of an industry same-day hotel bookings could become. However, the company’s official expansion into location-discriminated pricing shows that HotelTonight is planning on continuing to tempt hotels with the opportunity to use mobile-exclusive data that the hotel otherwise wouldn’t be able to obtain.
Additional reporting by Anthony Ha.