An app to book a hotel room at super short notice. You’d think someone would have thought of that already. But you'd be wrong. As it turns out, 21-year-old AUT marketing graduate Veronica Nobbs is trying to cash in on this gap in the market with Get a Room, a mobile app that offers punters hotel rooms at the cheapest rates when they’re booking at the last minute from their mobile.
Youtube VideoThe idea was sparked while Nobbs was working as a market analyst for travel company Jasons. And while the likes of Wotif and Hotels.com offer cheap rates, she says the time between booking and staying is getting shorter and shorter and this app offers even more 'distressed' rates.
“Increasingly, I saw that customers were booking on the same day as their stay and hotels often have rooms going spare."
Here’s how it works: Get a Room is a free iPhone app that offers potential hotel bookers discounted rooms for that day at three hotels in each city.
The cheap rooms become available at midday, after Get a Room has done the price negotiations with its hotel partners in the morning.
Nobbs says the app is targeted at business travellers and late night party people who might not want to taxi home.
She hopes Get a Room will be launched in more cities across the country, and in Melbourne and Sydney by Christmas.
“We want to get New Zealand right first and then look further afield.”
Nobbs has funded a lot of the venture herself, but with her savings now depleted, she’s working with a couple of others with healthier looking bank balances.
In the end, though, Nobbs couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to develop the app.
“I thought, in a year’s time, I might see someone else doing something like it.”
Better to get in first with the good idea, savings and all, than to be beaten to it.
- This post originally appeared in idealog.co.nz