Hotel Tonight is a bit like that http://hackertable.com that I use…. I might not be able to eat at the precise restaurant I want, at the precise time, at the last minute…. but I can find of the best in the city, and a convenient time, if I am open to multiple options.
HT is “I can’t stay at a specific fantastic hotel, but I can stay at one of the best, tonight, at a fair rate”.
Millennials that travel, and the crazy last second biz man travel have taken to hotel tonight because, except for the EXCEPTIONALLY rare full crush 100% city buy out plus compression plus airbnb all full… know they can get a great room for a good rate.
The Millennial wants an “experience”, but not really a flag or brand or chain. Loyalty is, pardon me, fairly obliterated, and they are more loyal to platforms than hotel brands. But in that they are looking for a unique experience, indie boutiques do a GREAT job on Hotel Tonight.
What’s more, they may not be the branded and loyal guest you want at the hotel, but it will be your first time having the chance to impress them and have them return. The thing is that these mobile, young travelers know they can stay at a fantastic spot, as long as they don’t care specifically what hotel. Instead of wanting one hotel you are loyal too, they are loyal to knowing that Hotel Tonight will offer at least one of the 5 best hotels in the city at a fair rate. So they might stay somewhere else next time, but it’s a fantastic way to, at the very last second after cancellations (and even no shows.. that late), fill up that one room for the perfect fill, or more specifically, it gives your hotel the ability to put out a rate that only a mobile user will see at the last second (IE ready to book, credit card in hand), and doesn’t need to abide the silly rate parity and rev management tricks of transparent rates that hit the GDS and OTAs. You can discount, but you don’t have to. It’s just another REALLY efficient revenue channel, and the conversion is likely WAY WAY higher, because these people are “ready to book” consumers while on mobile, rather than google searching or expedia lookie loooos that are just diving to the bottom of the barrel looking for the lowest rate, planning not booking, etc.