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HotelTonight broadens scope with Europe addition

HotelTonight is now available in London

Hotel booking application HotelTonight is expanding its international footprint by offering same-day mobile deals in London.

Up until now, HotelTonight was only available in the United States and Canada. The company also claims to be looking at other cities in Britain and Western Europe, pointing to the growth in the mobile travel industry.

“Our global expansion strategy focuses chiefly on markets that feature a high proportion of same-day hotel bookings and sharply increasing smartphone adoption rates,” said Jared Simon, chief operating officer at HotelTonight, San Francisco.

“Of course we saw these trends in a big way in London, and it made it the perfect first step outside our North American base,” he said.

“Mobile has ushered in a new golden era for consumers of finally being able to realize the dream of true instant gratification.”

Same-day deals
Consumers in London now have access to last-minute deals to hotel brands such as Thompson Hotels, Langham Hotels & Resorts and Morgans Hotel Group.

HotelTonight is using the upcoming Olympics as a way to promote its services and educate consumers on the app to travelers who are looking for a discounted and quick deal.

The app, which has positioned itself as a flash-sale service, offers time-sensitive deals on hotels every day at noon local time. HotelTonight includes three daily hotel deals from each city that consumers can buy before 2 a.m.

Each hotel is also rated by the company and includes pictures, maps and a quick description of the hotel. A central button at the bottom of the screen lets users book a room quickly with either a HotelTonight user name or by logging in via Facebook.

HotelTonight claims to have more than two million downloads with versions of the app on iOS and Android devices.

First class mobile experience
With the number of mobile bookings increasing across the board for online travel agencies and brands, more marketers are pouring money into the channel to give users more options on how they make reservations.

As mobile commerce continues to ramp up, more companies are not only seeing significant mobile traffic, they are also finding that mobile bookings tend to be made for same-day reservations, showing the opportunities available for marketers to target consumers while traveling.

For instance, Orbitz claims that anywhere from 60-65 percent of its mobile bookings are made for same-day reservations (see story).

In HotelTonight’s case, using the flash-sale tactic is an effective way to target last-minute travelers who need a hotel room on the spot and are looking for the best deal possible.

“We’re firm believers that mobile is where online commerce is going — and as a mobile-only company, mobile is our future,” Mr. Simon said.

“Above all, mobile users just want us to get out of the way and allow them to quickly and easily book a hotel room without having to sift through irrelevant or low-quality options,” he said.

“At the same time, these users are looking to be inspired to book a hotel, so they appreciate our extremely high-quality hotel photos and professionally written descriptions.”

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