Technology

What Now to polish hotel ancillary revenue app in London before global roll out

Posted by Ben Irelandon
What Now to polish hotel ancillary revenue app in London before global roll out

HotelBeds Group has signed a deal with What Now to promote its destination discovery app in hotels, offering trips, restaurants, bars and attractions.

Each hotel or airline that advertises the app will get a slice of the profit from tickets sold as a result of customers signing up through the business.

At the launch of the partnership at the HQ of London Mayor Sadiq Khan this week, Tony Sandler, founder of What Now said customers of travel firms want flexibility.

He told an audience of hoteliers and tour operators: “If it’s raining, for example, the app will show you indoor activities, or an indoor coffee shop.

“Spontaneity is absolutely key. The majority of purchase decisions in leisure travel come in-destination. If you give customers a better experience they will be loyal and there will be more chances to sell.”

The app will first launch to hotels in the capital with a view to expanding across the globe. The likelihood is that the next stop will be another major tourist city such as New York or Barcelona.

And although nothing is agreed, Sandler revealed there was a ‘road map’ of future international roll out but he said he wanted to polish the product in London before going global.

What Now has been powering the Visit London mobile app for the last two years.

The firm has found that 80% of its sales have come either on the day of a trip or the evening before. This insight prompted the app to introduce seven day ‘flexi-tickets’, which can be used at 11,000 attractions any time during a week without booking a specific slot – and shown as an e-ticket on a smart phone.

Paul Anthony, managing director of the transfer and activity bank division of Hotelbeds Group, added: “For the travel industry it’s about adding value and this app is a massive opportunity to do that.

“Most hotels usually have a home page website for the hotel when you log into the Wi-Fi – but you’ve already booked the hotel. Having the app there opens up a whole new range of opportunity. The traditional concierge service is still there but – if you think about millennial a and mobile users – they aren’t the sort of people who will be using a concierge in the next 15 years.”

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