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App offers rooms on the cheap

20 HotelQuickly

Going on a last minute business trip to Phnom Penh? Do you live in the city but want a stay at a posh hotel? Impulsive hotel bookers will have an easier time making same-day reservations in the capital as the HotelQuickly app expands its coverage to Phnom Penh.

Launched in March for iOS and Android to serve the Asia-Pacific market, HotelQuickly offers customers discounts of up to 70 per cent on hotel bookings made the same day. The idea is to allow hotels to liquidate rooms at the last minute that would otherwise go empty, while introducing a channel for customers to get discounted rooms fast.

HotelQuickly CEO Tomas Laboutka explained in a statement that several rules apply to keep rates low.

“We start to sell our hotel rooms only after 12pm each day, bookings are non-refundable, and users cannot search for hotels but instead have to pick one of the six hotels that we display,” said Laboutka.

According to the statement, each hotel falls in the 3-5 star quality range. With only six listings to browse through, Laboutka said that customers are able to make last minute booking decisions in a hurry.

“We are probably the fastest way to book a hotel, which can make a difference when in urgent need of a room. You open the app, get up to six hotels shown from a curated list of quality hotels, hit three buttons, and you are done.”

Although the app will initially just serve Phnom Penh, Chief Operating Officer Christian Mischler said that it expects to expand to other cities.

“We’ve been approached by Cambodian hotels already in other locations as well,” said Mischler, who added that coverage has spread rapidly within other countries following the initial launches.

HotelQuickly’s unusual booking conditions allow for much lower prices than other online channels, which are restricted by the well-established principle that booking channels not undercut other websites for the same hotel room on the same night.

“We’re a private sales channel,” said Mischler. “We’re not indexable by a search engine, we’re only accessible through a smart phone, we only show six hotels and there’s no cancellation.”

With almost 60,000 downloads since the free app went online two months ago, HotelQuickly also offers deals in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

HotelQuickly is the second same-night booking app to serve the Cambodian market, with Phnom Penh-based CheckInTonight providing highly discounted same-day and next-day bookings in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Kampot and Kep.

“I don’t think we’re necessarily competing,” said Mischler, who added that the apps offer a comparable service. “We are both advocating the market and the idea that it’s no longer important to plan ahead, grabbing a small piece of the travel pie.”



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