HotelTonight set to boost Dubai's occupancy levels

Newly launched mobile application aims to sell the vacant one out of four hotel rooms in Dubai to last minute travellers

HotelTonight operates in 35 countries and is available on Android and iOS.
HotelTonight operates in 35 countries and is available on Android and iOS.

Newly launched in the UAE, Hotel Tonight is a mobile application which lets travellers find (and book) last minute hotel deals across Dubai.

Advancements in hotel room gadgetry have been supported by the rise of OTAs and mobile applications that help travellers find accommodation from different corners of the world. Founded in 2010, HotelTonight is a mobile-only platform for booking hotels at low prices, from tonight to up to seven days in advance.

"Our Dubai launch exemplifies the company’s commitment to international expansion, adding to the recent country launches of Russia and Australia earlier this year and bringing the total number of countries where consumers can use HotelTonight to 35," said Bao Dinh, general manager Middle East and French speaking countries at HotelTonight.

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Dinh told Hotelier Middle East exclusively that Dubai was the most requested destination by the application’s users from other cities.

“It’s a win-win situation for the hotels and the guests. To begin with, travellers wanted us to extend our services to Dubai, and given Dubai’s occupancy rate of 75%-odd, it meant one in every four hotel rooms remained vacant. Hence, the opportunity is huge for hoteliers to sell rooms that would remain unoccupied.”

HotelTonight has launched with 100 hotels in Dubai, and has no plans to significantly grow that number, “We only offer 15 hotels per area, for example we will not sign-up with more than 15 hotels in Al Barsha. Moreover, each of these hotels will be curated by our team to ensure guests are not in for a surprise. We want our service to be as trust worthy as possible," he said.

“We are in talks with several hotels, but are in no hurry to significantly increase our offerings," Dinh told Hotelier Middle East.

HotelTonight makes its money by taking a 15% share from bookings made through their app, “The guest is not charged any extra fee, what you see on the app is what you pay. Our understanding with the operators is iron clad, we will never promote one hotel over the other by negotiating an extra percentage in return.”

The company extends this approach further by verifying the room rates before they sign with hotels, “Internally, we conduct due diligence on the room rates that the hotelier wants to present on the app. And, we will only approve the submission if it is an official standard rate of the property.”

“Additionally, hoteliers can use the back-end option to offer a discount as well,” Dinh told Hotelier.

A number of properties in other emirates will also make their rooms available on the platform, with Ras Al Khaimah a potential first, followed by others.

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