HotelQuickly offers discounted last-minute rooms through a mobile application only, however, users who download the app for free need to sign up in order to see the hotel rates. This was implemented in order to protect hotels from pressure of online travel agents, who usually sell the same rooms more expensively. “Hotels use our application to offer rooms that they otherwise could not sell. They offer the rooms at a more favorable rate to our members only,” explains Bangkok-based Chief Operating Officer Christian Mischler.
This new way of booking a cheap 3-5* hotel room appears to catch attention of the crowds: “New member sign-ups in Thailand have more than tripled over the past few days, especially members using their phones in Thai language increased dramatically since this weekend,” tells us Christian Mischler. “Main driver of the new installs seems to be word-of-mouth. Many of our members refer the app to their co-demonstrators and friends who are coming to Bangkok from outside.”
Due to many cancellations prior to the shutdown and over the course of the past weeks, hotels face lower occupancy than in other years. International tourists avoid the capital, causing a severe revenue drop for many hotels. The ones lucky enough to be part of HotelQuickly now seem to find a way to compensate for the plunge in demand by accommodating Thais, either protesters coming from outside the city, or Bangkok residents who cannot count on the reliability of the public transport system in the city.
HotelQuickly offers a special discount for new sign-ups. By entering NEWTOHQ in the app, new members will get an additional discount of THB 300 on their first booking. “Staying in tents might not be an option for many, especially due to the lack of facilities. We motivate demonstrators to stay in a safe location to rest and energize. We are politically neutral and only hope for a peaceful outcome, may everyone stay safe,” added Christian Mischler.
Every crisis seems to bring about winners and losers. Even in a citywide shutdown, whoever manages to adapt (hotel)quickly will come out on top. The app is available for free on iTunes, Google Play, and BlackBerry World.