Beewake changing the industry with app-enabled bookings for daytime hotel use
Space is a precious commodity, especially for an increasing number of single-day business travelers, who seek a place to hold meetings, freshen up or decompress during a layover or in-between flights.
“Thirty percent of U.S. flights are domestic, single day trips,” says Jeremie Catez, co-founder of Beewake. Released this past January, the mobile app-enabled service lets users reserve different types of spaces exclusively during the day. Consumers can search by price, distance, or the built-in map to locate a space that fits their needs in real-time.
With a background in sales and marketing for the hotel industry, Catez has steadily noticed a rising demand for daily room rentals, he says.
“Travelers need some space for the day to shower, nap, work, or hold confidential meetings,” says Catez. “With rates in New York City of $120 for a minimum of three hours at some hotels, to book an executive suite off-site, it can be three times more expensive. With the convenience of room service and other amenities, it can be more comfortable and affordable to book a hotel room.”
For travel agents incentivized by companies to sell rooms, “We’re in the process of building a platform for them. While we can’t off the same level of commission, it’s still a model that will work. They can rent a room for a couple of hours at half the price. We’re bringing a huge opportunity to them,” says Catez.
Currently, Beewake can be utilized to instantly book meeting and sleeping rooms in New York, Paris, London, Miami, Chicago, Houston and San Francisco, with plans to cover more major markets, says Catez. In New York alone, “We’re averaging about fifteen reservations daily.”
After it began to use the Beewake app three months back, The Paramount Hotel noticed some pick up in business.
“We’ve received some bookings,” says Sebastien Hamel, revenue analyst manager for the property.
Sold in blocks of hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 12 noon to 6 p.m. at a current rate of $129 per room, “We’re selling more in late afternoon and early evening,” says Hamel. “There are business travelers coming in from the west coast with meetings in the afternoon and red eye flights. They want to freshen up beforehand.”
And while some hotels offer late checkouts, for those that don’t, “Consumers will want to freshen up before heading to the airport, especially Europeans, who often have late evening flights at 9 and 10 p.m. If a room can be guaranteed until 7 or 8 p.m., it’s desirable,” says Hamel.
The real-time demand for daytime hotel bookings should continue to rise, says the industry insider.
“People are booking more stays through mobile. As they become more aware of apps like Beewake, they will want to book rooms at airport hotels when flights are delayed. And for those with last-minute business meetings, it’s always better to meet in a room, and possibly cheaper than an expensive steakhouse,” says Hamel.
After the recent receipt of a significant round of venture capital funding, Paris-based DayUse.com is poised to accelerate its e-commerce business in the hospitality space globally, according to Marion Roger, general manager for the New York/USA region of the 2010-founded start-up, which currently has over 2000 hotels offering rooms in cities across 15 countries including the U.S. as well as solid presence in the U.K. and France.
“We receiv ed over $17 million in venture capital this spring, as our financials and business model proved to be solid. We’ve expanded operations to North America this summer and expect to be in the top 10 cities here in the next twelve to eighteen months,” says Roger, of DayUse.com, the online booking platform which offers reduced rates for hotel guestrooms during daytime hours.
Typically, daytime reservations through DayUse are held for set time periods between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as ‘late breaks’ from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
With a current focus on the New York market, the company is growing rapidly. “Executives fly in from Silicon Valley on the red-eye and meet with financial or technology partners here in Manhattan before flying on to London, or India later that evening. DayUse.com is the ideal solution and we see it in our increasing revenues and additional hotel partners,” says Roger.
Beyond business travelers, “We have a lot of cases with hospitals booking rooms across the street for their emergency room physicians and medical staff-- to take naps,” says Roger.
Miami is yet another target, for leisure travelers, says Roger.
“Cruise ships come into port there at 6 a.m. and rush to get people off. What do they do with those people who have flights home later that night?” says Roger. “Cruise lines bus them over to a hotel room, where they get complimentary buffet breakfast and or lunch, pool or beachside access and a room to shower and change or even nap before their transfer to the airport.”
Families also find benefits in using DayUse.
“They will come in on hot days and let their kids take a two-hour nap,” says Roger. “For women breastfeeding, it’s a nice, quiet place to do so,” says Roger.
Leisure-minded people who can’t afford to get away from their jobs are increasingly interested in ‘daycations,’ at hotels too, she says.
While the market segment for hourly hotel rooms has existed for some time, “Generating revenue for hoteliers hadn’t been aggregated or automated,” says Roger.
But in today’s sharing economy, “You can’t have an underused asset sitting vacant. Every industry has vulnerabilities,” says Roger. The hospitality industry is vulnerable to terrorism, airborne disease, natural disasters and horrific events like 9/11. Hoteliers are constantly keeping their eyes on what’s on the horizon that will kill business. DayUse is a night and shining armor on a white horse, since we can bring them revenue,” says Roger.