Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

HotelTonight pushes into new markets to accomodate summer travelers

The mobile hotel booking app is expanding the number of cities that it is available in based on some expected hotspots for summer vacations. In addition, HotelTonight has also released data on how consumers are expected to use their mobile devices this summer to book trips.

“Our goal is to be ubiquitous – no matter where in the world you find yourself, HotelTonight will be available to help you find immediate shelter and a hotel that night,” said Jared Simon, co-founder/chief operating officer at HotelTonight, San Francisco.

“So our push into new cities is part of our commitment to ubiquity,” he said. “Depending on the booking occasion, Tulsa, OK and Lille, France might be as important as NYC or Paris. So over the last year we’ve added 11 countries and more than 100 destinations.”

Expanded reach
HotelTonight has been building up the number of locations that it offers services for a while now.

For this summer, the company is opening up hotel bookings in several European cities, including Lyon, Marseille and Lille in France.

In North America, Puerto Vallarta, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Mexico are all available to let consumers book hotels via their mobile devices.

In Italy, consumers in Florence and Rome can now download the HotelTonight app to find a hotel room. Travelers in Malaga/Costa del Sol and Madrid in Spain can also use the services.

Destinations in the South Coast in Ireland also now work with HotelTonight.

The company also has plans to launch in the Jersey Shore, NJ area later this month.

HotelTonight is available on iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

Mobile trends
HotelTonight recently commissioned a study, finding that 62 percent of consumers were more likely to use their smartphone or tablet this summer to book a trip.

Mobile bookings continue to be made primarily for consumers who are looking for a quick stay.

In fact, 35 percent of respondents in the survey said that they will start their summer travel planning one week or so in advance. Additionally, 20 percent of consumers plan to decide where to go and what to do on a vacation the day that the leave.

Additionally, Hotel Tonight conducted a Facebook poll of 1000 users, which found that 49 percent of consumers were planning on taking a road trip this summer. Popular destinations include Myrtle Beach, Santa Barbara, Atlantic City, Palm Springs and Las Vegas.

Since consumers are often glued to their mobile devices and are waiting longer to book their travel plans, it is likely that online travel agencies and hotels will see a spike in mobile bookings this summer and prime travel times.

“The seamless travel experience has been an industry goal for years, with countless companies attempting to tackle various components of the travel lifecycle,” Mr. Simon said.

“With the always-on nature of mobile devices, the dream for spontaneous travelers is now within reach,” he said.

“Look for us to launch several important new features over the coming months, all geared toward making the last second booking experience more personal and seamless than you ever imagined it could be.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York