Covid triggers hourly bookings in hotels


Rooms in a hotel in Torremolinos.

Rooms in a hotel in Torremolinos.
EFE

Hourly room reservations in hotels have skyrocketed in recent months despite the crisis generated by the coronavirus throughout the world, as explained to EFE Guillermo Gaspart, founder of the platform ByHours, which allows booking hotel microstays.

According to Gaspart, hourly room reservations on the platform, which has about 3,500 partner hotels from 24 countries, grew 62% in September compared to the same month last year, and in October the increase exceeded 70% upon reaching 14,000 reservations.

The reasons why this type of accommodation has exploded respond, according to Gaspart, to the fact that hotels they have many empty rooms and have a higher number to reserve them by the hour and “the more products you have, the more you sell.”

Also, with the pandemic, the company has focused a lot on on local demand and in making people see that the hotels in their city are not only for tourists, but offer a wide range of possibilities.

Customers can reserve a room 3, 6 or 12 hours for work, spend the night, attend telematic meetings, live an experience or simply disconnect.

Gaspart gives the example of people who can go to a city to spend the day shopping with the family and rest for a while andn a room at noon.

In the case of Barcelona, ​​where restaurants are closed, “you can reserve a room and eat at the hotel restaurant”, and, in fact, there are several establishments that make offers in this regard.

This significant increase in reserves has been widespread and it has been noticed in all the cities in which the platform operates.

Despite the cessation of the activity that the pandemic forced, the company expects to exceed 6 million in turnover this year, compared to the 5 it registered in 2019.

However, the uncertainty that this second wave of coronavirus is causing makes the hotel sector “very worried” and waiting to see how the crisis develops.

The company recently created the ByHours Direct business line, which allows hotels to offer hourly room reservations directly on their website.

This new software has two modalities: on the one hand it offers the possibility of selling the rooms in 3, 6 and 12 hour packages from the hotel’s own website and a second mode that allows the sale of meeting rooms by the hour without being subject to any hourly package.

According to Gaspart, although the launch of this new product was already planned, its development has accelerated with the arrival of the Covid and could mean that the company double its turnover in the next twelve months.

ByHours is the first and only online platform and mobile app that allows you to book microstays in more than 3,500 hotels around the world in packs of 3, 6 and 12 hours.

The platform was created in 2012 and introduced pay-per-use in the hotel sector, since the user can decide the time of entry and exit.

The company has had to stop its expansion planned for this 2020, the year in which they thought to open a market in the United States, by the Covid, but Gaspart hopes that in the next two years they will be present in the main cities of the world.

At the moment this startup has already raised about 15 million in financing and continues to be in contact with investors to continue its expansion, which also involves opening an office in Asia.

Currently, ByHours has an open office in Mexico, where 12 people work, and from where in addition to managing the hotels in Latin America they will also manage those in the United States, and another in Barcelona with 46 people.

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