Byhours app launches in MENA. Byhours app launches in MENA.

Byhours, a Spain-based micro-stays mobile app, has launched in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. The pay-per-use app allows guests to book hotels by the hour in sets of three, six or 12 hours with users in-charge of opting the check-in and check-out time.

The app was founded in Barcelona in 2012 by Christian Rodriguez and Guillermo Gaspart who brought pervious hospitality industry experience together to launch a micro-stays app to help enable hotels to drive revenue per available room (RevPAR) while allowing new customers to experience their properties for a short period of time.

Byhours chairman Guillermo Gaspart said that since launching the app in 2012, Gaspart and his partner have witnessed a growing demand for micro-stays in hotels, especially in Europe. Gaspart told Hotelier Middle East that he believes it’s not a temporary trend and is a growing sector for the hotel market especially for MICE and transit travellers.

“Being a tourism hotspot as well as a key business hub, we believe the app will help many international business travellers coming to the region for a conference or a short meeting. MENA business travellers can now book a three, six, or 12-hour stay in a choice of hotels located in the city hotspots, or close to the airport,” Gaspart added.

Gaspart also points out that the app is not designed to be a low-cost or a last-minute option and operates as an online travel agent (OTA) just like Expedia or but offers a different concept to both users and hotels involved in terms of the time and cost involved. "It's a win-win situation for both the parties," he added. He also explained that the company does not decide the price, the hotel is in-charge of regulating the prices.

"We try to advise them — normally three hours is 30%-40% of the full day price, six hours is normally between 50%-60%, while the 12 hour pack is close to 80%," Gaspart explained.

In the MENA region, Byhours has currently partnered with Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Louvre Hotels Group, Warwick Hotels and Resorts, Wyndham, Best Western as wells as individual hotels such as Novotel Bahrain Al Dana Resort and the Elite Resort & Spa in Bahrain.

In other regions, Byhours has teamed up with various hotel chains including Hyatt, AccorHotels, W Hotels, Barceló, NH, Titanic, Leonardo, Tryp by Wyndham Hotels, Bluebay Hotels and Resorts, Abba Hotels and Sercotel.

Since its beginning six years ago, Gaspart says in terms of investments, it started with family and friends but over the years, various investors from Spain, Switzerland, German, Luxembourg and the GCC has amounted to US $8.9 million.

The app, which largely operates in Europe and Latin America, is free to download on both iOS and Android and currently has more than 200,000 users according to a statement from the company.

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