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HotelClub seals last-minute bookings via mobile site

Travel Web site HotelClub has launched a mobile site that encourages users to book from their handsets by offering mobile-only deals.

HotelClub’s mobile site is the company’s first foray into mobile and points to the growing trend in the accommodation industry of using mobile for discounted bookings.

“We wanted to provide an easy way for HotelClub members to book hotels while they are on the go,” said Jeremy Bellinghausen, president of HotelClub, Sydney.

“The mobile site is intuitive and easy to use while providing all of the features that members are used to on our desktop site plus more,” he said.

Orbitz Worldwide-owned HotelClub powers more than 75,000 accommodations in 141 countries.

Mobile savings
According to Mr. Bellinghausen, data from HotelClub shows that mobile users are five times more likely to book a same-day check-in than they are on desktop. Additionally, the company has seen high mobile activity in the Asia Pacific area where smartphone penetration is high.

Users can access the HotelClub mobile site by typing into their device’s browser.

The mobile site uses GPS to shows the language and currency that matches a user’s location.

Via the mobile site, consumers can log-in to their HotelClub account to access their reward balances.

The mobile site is filtered with same-day hotels at the top of the site. Because a majority of hotel bookings take place on the same day, it is smart for HotelClub to place the option in a prime place on the mobile site.

The site automatically sorts results by location but can also be viewed by price, ratings or reviews.

Similar to the Web version of the site, users earn points by booking on HotelClub. Member points can be used on savings for future bookings and give users an incentive to book on the company’s Web and mobile site.

To tap into the same-day bookings, HotelClub’s prices can differ from the company’s Web site and mobile site. Many of the mobile-only deals are presented to users who are looking for a quick stay for the best price available.

Giving users a lower price for booking via their handsets is a smart way for HotelClub to cater to its members with time-sensitive offers.

To get the word out about the new mobile site, HotelClub is promoting it on the company’s Web site. HotelClub is also in development of launching a mobile booking application.

Airline stay
Mobile is gaining traction with the hotels and accommodations industry as a way for companies to drive last-minute bookings and sales.

HotelClub is part of Orbitz, which has been doing a lot in the mobile space recently.

Orbitz recently launched a hotels-only iOS app to capitalize on same-day sales  and claims that up to 65 percent of the company’s bookings are made for same-day reservations (see story).

Orbitz also recently revamped its mobile site with a daily deals section that lets users filter through nearby hotels, car rentals and flights.

For bookings, mobile makes a natural platform with users looking for last-minute information, often while they are already in the city they are staying in.

“As consumers begin to use different devices to search and book hotels, particularly for same-day bookings, it is important we offer this to our members along with our renowned Member Rewards program,” Mr. Bellinghausen said.

“The great part about mobile is that is attracts a variety of customers from road warrior business travelers who need a hotel for their last-minute meetings to spontaneous travelers who find themselves in a city without a hotel booking,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York