Hopper, the travel app that uses algorithms to identify cheap plane tickets, is now rolling out a hotel booking service, starting in New York City. Previously, Hopper users who secured plane tickets then had to use a hotel booking app like Kayak to find accommodations.
Drawing upon pricing data and customer reviews, Hopper will recommend whether to book a hotel or to wait for the price to drop, similar to how it works with plane tickets, reports the Verge. Using the same color-coded calendar, with red for expensive, yellow for moderate, and green for cheapest, Hopper lets users view which dates are more costly than others.
Available now in New York City, the app will roll out to an additional 10 markets soon including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami, the company reports.
As it does with flights, the new version of Hopper will predict future hotel pricing and tell you when to buy or wait to get the best deal on a room rate. Hopper said its technology is 95 percent accurate up to six months in advance, so it can be used for planning trips far in the future.
Hopper tells Tech Crunch that its technology collects 10 million hotel price quotes daily for over 500 hotels in New York—its first market—and has accumulated over a year’s worth of data.
“The main difference is travelers view air travel as a commodity and often make their purchase decision strictly based on price, so we provide an overall price prediction for their trip,” said Hopper CEO Frederic Lalonde. “For hotels, we offer a more granular approach to price predictions since every hotel has a different pricing strategy and travelers aren’t solely basing their decision on price. Therefore, you won’t see ‘hotel prices in New York will drop,’ but rather a specific ‘buy’ or ‘wait’ recommendation for each property.”
To give the user a feel of the whole hotel, Hopper has created hotel profiles, which feature immersive full-screen stories that cover every aspect of the hotel—the room, the lobby, the bar, the gym, the neighborhood, etc. The user in control of what they watch—they can tap to progress the story forward, hold to freeze the story or swipe to progress to the next story section.
Predictive Pricing in Hotels
Predictive analytics uses large groups of data from the past to not only determine past trends, but to determine what may happen in the future. Because predictive analytics is an educated guess, it can never be 100 percent certain. Predictive analytics isn’t new to the hotel industry but the availability and volume of data available means hotels can respond to customer demand even quicker and provide a more personalized service and pricing point.
InterContinental Hotels Group, Hyatt Hotels corporation and RLH Corporation have started leveraging their big data to better serve the customer and predict occupancy levels and room rates. Integrated resorts can use predictive analytics to promote and price a wide range of downstream ancillary services. By knowing who will be visiting the hotel and what their demographics, interests and potential spend are, hotels can predict how to promote and price spa treatments, golf tee times, shows and entertainment options, according to Eye for Travel’s "Ancillary Revenues in the Hospitality Industry" report.