Mobile hotel booking is hot, with companies like Hipmunk, Room 77 and HotelTonight raising money
Mobile hotel booking is becoming a big space, and for good reason. Long gone are the days when all travel plans had to be made before you left; now they can be made at a moment's notice and from anywhere.
As a result, a number companies that offer like the ability to book a room on the go, such as Hipmunk, Room 77 and HotelTonight, have been popping up, and making a big name for themselves. And now Google wants in on the action as well.
The company is taking its Hotel Finder, which it launched back in 2011, and optimizing it for mobile, it was revealed on Tuesday. The service is what it sound like: it lets users find, compare and book hotel rooms. And now people can do it on their smartphone as well.
"When you need a hotel or when wanderlust strikes, why wait until you get back to your computer to start planning your next trip?" Maciek Nowakowski, Product Manager at Google, wrote. "Hotel Finder now makes it easier to find and book a hotel right from your phone."
All a user has to do is go to www.google.com/hotels and search for their destination. Search results can be filtered by price, hotel class, user rating and distance.
Users can find photos, and learn about hotel amenities and reviews and see its location on a map from the same page. They can also save hotels to help compare them. Once a hotel is selected, it can be booked either by using Google Wallet or via another payment method. The Google Wallet payment method is only available in the United States right now.
Hotel Finder is currently available in 100 different countries.
The hotel booking space
Google will have plenty of competition if it wants to dominate the mobile hotel booking space. Many of these companies have been raising money over the past year or two.
There is Hipmunk, a series of travel site, which raised raised $15 million in a Series B last year. In May, the company announced that users could now book hotels directly through the site or mobile app.
And, in July, GetGoing, a travel site founded in January 2012 that lets you find discounted flights moved into the market for hotels.
The San Francisco-based startup, with backing from Y Combinator, Digital Sky Technologies, Lightbank and Data Collective, partnered with Expedia to get access to cheap rooms across 140,000 hotels worldwide.
The gold standard, though, is last-minute hotel booking application HotelTonight. It lets users book same-day rooms on the cheap from their phone. The company says doubled the number of downloads of its mobile apps to over 6.5 million in just the past year.
HotelTonight recently raised $45 million in Series D funding, bringing the company's total funding $80.35 million.
(Image source: https://digitalmarketingturistico.it)
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GetGoing is making it easier and more affordable for flexible travelers to discover and book their next trip. With an average of one out of every five airplane seats going unsold worldwide, GetGoing enables flexible travelers to easily find and book those seats at a significant discount, while helping airlines profitably fill empty seats.
How the Traveler Wins
Using GetGoing, leisure travelers are rewarded with the best prices on flights for being flexible on their destination. For example, if a traveler is seeking a beach vacation and is willing to go to either Barbados OR Aruba, significant savings can be discovered. Or if they want a European vacation and would like to visit either Paris OR Rome – they can save big on GetGoing. A little flexibility can save a lot of money.
In addition to finding the biggest discounts on the destinations leisure travelers are considering, GetGoing also identifies many additional locations to discover, like Pandora for travel. The traveler tells GetGoing the type of destination or experience they want to have, and GetGoing helps discover other affordable destinations they may like.
Why it Works for Airlines
GetGoing provides airlines with a new, unique customer segmentation tool that enables the airlines to target discounts only to flexible leisure travelers. This introduces a new revenue stream for airlines, without disrupting existing revenue sources. GetGoing is a technology platform that works seamlessly with airlines’ existing pricing and distribution systems, so the airlines get a new tool in their arsenal for more effective, targeted online sales.
Through its existing airline relationships, GetGoing is currently flying to hundreds of major airports in over 50 countries worldwide. The company is currently serving 80% of the population of the top 100 major metro areas, and is rapidly expanding its airline relationships and inventory of flights to cover more areas on a rolling basis.
GetGoing is a Y Combinator company based in San Francisco, and is backed by a number of prominent venture capital and private equity funds. For more information, please visit http://www.getgoing.com, follow us on Twitter @GetGoingTravel (http://twitter.com/getgoingtravel) or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GetGoing.
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Room 77 is a fast and powerful search and booking engine that offers the most advanced hotel shopping experience on the Web. Travelers can simultaneously compare pricing across every major online travel agency and more, shop across a variety of room types, and book more than 120,000 hotels worldwide, all with the confidence Room 77 will help them score a great room.
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HotelTonight is the ultimate way to book a same-day hotel stay via your mobile device.
Founded in 2010, HotelTonight is the first hotel booking application that is made for mobile from the ground up. HotelTonight offers some of the best pricing for last minute hotel deals in three categories: hip, elegant and basic. Perfect for business travelers, leisure travelers and locals alike.