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Have you ever dreamed of launching the next big travel and tourism app? Amir Segall, VP International of HotelTonight, came to Les Roches recently to talk with students about his company’s unique business model.
HotelTonight is a mobile application for last-minute hotel booking. The company was founded in late 2010 in San Francisco with a simple goal: connecting last-minute travelers with the best hotels available in their destination. Users can only make a booking up to seven days in advance. And when a traveler searches for hotels in a destination, she won’t see a massive list of properties to sort through — instead, HotelTonight just shows the 15 most relevant results.
Carefully vetting and curating a selection of the best hotels at last-minute prices is part of HotelTonight’s appeal for spontaneous travelers. Meanwhile, the company also gives hotels another opportunity to fill empty rooms. This successful business model has helped HotelTonight to expand to more than 1,700 cities in 35 countries. In addition to its San Francisco-based headquarters, the company now has international offices in London, Paris and Berlin.
So why last-minute bookings? As we learned from Amir, spontaneous travel appears to be a growing trend. Amir noted,
In Europe, 50% of bookings are made one week or less in advance. In the USA, 50% of bookings are made just three days in advance.
HotelTonight, then, with its mobile-only platform, is clearly designed for this on-the-go market. In fact, it only takes three taps, one swipe and 10 seconds for a user to book a hotel.
Although HotelTonight now works with 25,000 top hotels around the world, Amir was quick to remind us that success doesn’t happen overnight. His advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to “be patient, and be persistent.” In the case of HotelTonight, Amir knows that the company still has lots of potential to grow. That also means that HotelTonight now offers many internship and job opportunities — so if you’re interested, why not check them out?
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