If you’re a travel marketer, it’s important to understand how these sites are changing the travel game, and how you can use them to attract new guests and gather competitive intelligence.
Here are five fast-growing concepts leading travel experts say are leading us into the future.
1. HotelTonight is an iPhone and Android app that delivers day of booking hotel discounts.
The app gives consumers the ability to book a hotel the same day they need it, at a steeply discounted rate.
The site partners with hotels with too much inventory to fill open rooms with last-minute guests, and save them up to 70% off the hotel price.
Implication for travel marketers: If you’re a hotelier, consider partnering with HotelTonight to sell out your remaining day-of inventory.
2. Backbid allows travelers with a flexible hotel reservation to solicit other hoteliers for better deals.
They post their reservation on the site and wait to see if other hotels will offer them a lower rate or incentives to move a booking over to the second hotel.
Implication for travel marketers: This site gives you an opportunity to see the rates your competitors are offering in real-time, and decide if you want to beat them.
3. Room 77 is built on the philosophy that you should be able to choose a room in a hotel like a seat on an airplane.
Room 77 offers you the chance to see what rooms look like in a hotel and instructs visitors on how to book that exact room. So far, they have well over half a million room sin their database.
Implication for travel marketers: This is one more site to showcase your property and market your inventory to savvy travelers.
4. Hipmunk is a new flight metasearch site that takes travel planning to the granular level.
In their own words, the site”takes the agony out of travel planning” by giving you more information on your flight.
For instance, if you like to sleep on the airplane, you can find out which ones will be “dark flights.” It also displays in as simple a format as you can get, the flights that are cheapest, quickest, and have the shortest stopovers.
Implications for travel marketers: This is just one more example of how much detail travelers now want in their searches. Look for ways to provide more detailed searches on your site.
5. Gogobot is built on the belief that people want travel advice from people they trust.
So it offers travelers tips and advice from a member’s network of family, friends and business colleagues.
Implications for travel marketers: The Gogobot phenomenon proves that people are using social media to make more and more of their travel decisions.
Make sure you’re monitoring social sites like this and responding to both positive and negative comments.
Thanks to EyeforTravel for identifying these sites for their North American Innovation Award. By the way, HotelTonight won, and Hipmunk was the runner up!