HotelQuickly Asia’s leading last-minute hotel booking app, is launching in New Zealand giving Kiwis a better deal when it comes to hotel room rates.
Hong Kong headquartered HotelQuickly has experienced rapid expansion across the region with New Zealand identified as a key market in its plans to become the dominant player in Asia-Pacific.
With 83% of New Zealanders now using smartphones, and domestic and international tourism continuing to show strong growth, HotelQuickly CMO and co-founder Christian Mischler is predicting fast adoption of the mobile app locally.
Currently, about one million users globally have downloaded the app and by the end of 2015 HotelQuickly hopes to grow the New Zealand user base to 100,000. There are currently 407 three to five star participating hotels across 17 New Zealand cities, with targets to grow this to more than 600 by close of 2015.
“The New Zealand market offers great potential for an app like HotelQuickly, travel patterns have been shifting from pre-booking trips and holidays towards last-minute bookings for spontaneous holidays. Cost pressures in both work and leisure are impacting customer choices, people are constantly seeking the value that HotelQuickly can offer,” Christian Mischler says.
Services such as travel account for the largest category of expenditure via mobile devices in New Zealand with an estimated $2.2 billion spent on services in 2014 and the mobile commerce market is seeing no signs of slowing.
“The increased use of smartphones is changing the way consumers make purchase decisions, the immediacy of mobile encourages impulse purchasing, especially when large discounts are offered.”
Mobile-only, HotelQuickly avoids the clunk of most travel websites and enables booking with just a few taps. It also carefully curates the hotels it offers showing only the best deals in a given location each day.
“Our application acts like a private sales channel for hotels to sell off distressed inventory and bring up their occupancy. Hotels are happy to grant big discounts for these rooms that would otherwise go unsold. This creates a win-win situation for hotels and guests: hotels get additional revenue, guests get fantastic deals at great hotels,” Christian Mischler explains.
HotelQuickly launched in March 2013 and has attracted the support of notable investors, namely former Chairman of Singtel and Singapore Airlines, Koh Boon Hwee who lead a $1.5m NZD angel funding round, and more recently GREE, Inc., one of the leading VCs from Japan, that led a Series A round of $5.9m NZD.
The company’s pure-play m-commerce approach and clever use of big data and analytics to deliver to users a curated and geographically targeted list of heavily discounted hotels has been central to its rapid growth with currently more than 1,000,000 users of the app globally.
HotelQuickly differentiates itself from its competitors in several key ways:
Mobile-only: the built-from-scratch, streamlined service is mobile only, so rates are not made public to avoid directly competing with large online travel agents.
Cheaper rates: HotelQuickly doesn’t invest as large a share of revenues into marketing as other web-based players, instead a greater emphasis is placed on developing an app with a richer user experience and greater accommodation discounts are passed onto customers, on average 28% cheaper than competitors.
Highly customised: on registering, users get a customised booking experience, saving them time and money by providing deals relevant to where they are.
Careful curation: only the best discounts are featured and the number of slots is limited for hotels, so users don’t have to scroll through thousands of hotels