Why OTAs are missing the point: HotelTonight

Why OTAs are missing the point: HotelTonight

While its mobile-only approach is a differentiator, the truly “disruptive” power of last-minute bookings lies in its relationships with hotel partners, says HotelTonight regional director Stefan Cordiner.

The mobile-only last minute hotel booking platform launched locally 12 weeks ago, and has since then notched up more than 100,000 downloads with over 200 hotels signed up.

Those numbers are expected to continue growing at a rapid rate, according to Cordiner who attributed its popularity to its different way of doing things.

“Unlike traditional OTAs, we don’t compete against our customers which are hotels,” he told delegates at the TRAVELtech conference in Sydney last week.

“Everything we do is around how we partner with hotels. We don’t compete with hotels main booking channels nor for their main business.”

As a result, the company will “never” have a website, he insisted.

Cordiner dismissed efforts by OTAs to enter the mobile arena with mobile apps or app-optimised versions of their websites as missing the point.

“Early TV broadcasts used to just be radio announcers sitting there and reading the radio broadcast – that’s what traditional OTAs are doing by going into mobile and still keeping their website,” he said.

The differences in using mobile enable the company to work in a very different way to competitors. The choices presented to the customer are curated and limited to a select number, specifically tailored to the user.

“What you can’t do with a desktop computer is target people where they’re standing – the power of that is incredible,” Cordiner said.

It also offers users an in-app chat feature called Aces which acts as a local concierge.

And this is exactly the kind of disruption we keep banging on about with our Travel DAZE event coming up on November 30.

Cordiner is one of the key leaders in the digital disruption movement. The travel industry is not immune, and the event Travel DAZE is paramount to survival.

Cordiner’s experience spans across a multitude of award-winning entrepreneurial ventures. His strong background in marketing and management of start-ups has led him to the helm at HotelTonight, the world’s leading hotel booking app.

Prior to joining the group, he was co-founder of Lime&Tonic, one of the world’s first digital concierge apps.

To hear more about what he has to say on how travel can learn from the musical disruption, grab your tickets here.

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